It’s the turn of Africa at the World Cup and Ghana got the memo. They have now grabbed their piece of the 2022 FIFA World Cup history by sealing a very famous win against South Korea on Monday afternoon at the Education City Stadium.
Both teams were coming into the game with everything to fight for. Uruguay held the Asians to a draw in their opening game while Ghana lost narrowly to Portugal. A loss for Ghana would have condemned them to an early exit. However, Otto Addo’s men dug deep to pull out a rabbit from a non-magical hat.
South Korea mounted a late charge after Ghana looked to have sunk them but the Africans, who qualified ahead of Nigeria, proved that they were not at the tournament by mistake and responded almost immediately before holding on to claim all three points from the very important fixture.
This is the third win for African teams at the tournament in this edition, following Senegal’s 3 - 1 demolition of host nation Qatar in Group A on Friday and Morocco’s masterclass against Belgium in Group F. Cameroon had earlier fought to a 3-3 draw against Serbia to keep their hopes of progressing to the knockouts from Group G and Ghana took it as a challenge.
Group H will see Portugal and Uruguay do battle later on Monday but Ghana will take solace in the fact that they are sitting in second place in Group H, thanks to a zero-goal difference. They will be keeping tabs closely on how Uruguay performs against Portugal, as they sharpen the weapons of their vendetta against the South Americans.
Kudus bags Ghana’s first World Cup brace
Mohammed Kudus is the name on everybody’s lips after a performance that his coaches at AFC Ajax Amsterdam in the Dutch Eredivisie would be proud of.
The 2010 quarter finalists started the game on the front foot and went ahead in the 24th minute through Mohammed Salisu. The Southampton defender swept home captain Jordan Ayew’s free kick to open the scoring and show that their impressive performance against Portugal was no fluke.
They doubled their lead in the 34th minute through Kudus, who had spent the whole game up to that point terrorising the South Koreans. Another Ayew delivery was glanced in by the Ajax man past Kim Seung-gyu in goal for the Asians.
The second half started frantically as Paulo Bento’s team peppered Ghana’s defence. Thy eventually broke through in the 58th minute when Cho Gue-sung placed a powerful header past the Ghana goalkeeper. Two minutes later, he repeated the move again to draw his team level.
Ghana looked flustered for a bit but regained their composure and soon after Kudus struck again to give Ghana the lead. That was the first brace scored by a Ghanaian at the FIFA World Cup and it just happened to be their most important goals of the tournament so far.
They will now be dreaming of bettering their outing from 2010 which starts with a revenge match against Uruguay, who denied them a semi-final berth in that tournament.