Mohammed Kudus was the star of the show as Ghana edged a thriller against South Korea at the World Cup today.
South Korea piled on the early pressure while Ghana sat back, waiting for opportunities to counter-attack.
When Ghana regained the ball, they struggled to progress it. The Asian side smothered their build-up play with ease.
However, Ghana began to settle around the 20th-minute mark. When they started to play proactively, they took the lead through defender Mohammed Salisu.
Jordan Ayew floated in a free-kick, and South Korea failed to clear their lines. The ball fell kindly to Salisu, who fired home with aplomb.
The goal gave Ghana the impetus to attack South Korea, and the Africans took it. Kudus doubled their lead minutes later. It came from another gorgeous Ayew delivery, and the Ajax man glanced his header into the net.
Ghana took control of the game, but their opponents reminded them to be cautious, with Kwon Chang-hoon narrowly missing the chance to level after 38 minutes.
Another Ayew delivery caused danger when Kim Seung-gyu punched the ball against Thomas Partey’s head and over the bar. The first half ended with Ghana leading by two goals.
South Korea failed to have a shot on target in the World Cup after three halves, but they came out aggressively in the second half.
Gue-sung Cho forced Lawrence Ati-igi to make a good save early in the second half before Kim Moon-hwan nearly turned the ball into his net trying to cut out a Jordan Ayew corner.
South Korea eventually pulled a goal back through Cho when substitute Kang-in Lee delivered a cross for him to glance home.
Like Ghana in the first half, the goal gave South Korea confidence, and they got their second. Cho got up to head in a deep cross and level the scores. There were 168 seconds between the two goals.
Ghana responded immediately. Gideon Mensah put in a dangerous ball, and after Inaki Williams failed to connect, it rolled to Kudus. He curled the ball into the back of the net.
South Korea retorted with a chance, and Salisu had to clear the ball off the line from Kim Jin-su’s effort. He had another opportunity to score when Heung-min Son fluffed his lines, and the ball fell to him in the box.
However, he blazed over. He missed another chance with a header later on. Ghana continued to defend their lead and wasted as much time as possible.
Their tactics proved successful and they held on to secure a valuable victory.
Match Ratings: South 2-3 Korea Ghana
Kim Seung-gyu (4/10) – His distribution was good but didn’t stop at least one of two savable goals from the Ghanaians.
Kim Moon-hwan (6.5/10) – He was adventurous down the right and caused problems for Mensah.
Kim Min-jae (6.5/10) – Despite conceding three goals, he was typically composed on the ball and won his duels easily.
Kim Young-gwon (6.5/10) – He held his own defensively and sprayed some raking passes.
Kim Jin-su (7/10) – He was fantastic today and assisted a goal. He could have also picked up a goal for himself too.
Hwang In-beom (6/10) – The Olympiacos man worked hard down the right flank but did nothing impactful.
Jung Woo-young (6.5/10) The Al-Sadd midfielder was tidy with the ball and helped his side probe Ghana. He used the ball well in midfield.
Jeong Woo-yeong (5.5/10) – He struggled to impact the game in the first half and didn’t come out after half-time.
Kwon Chang-hoon (6/10) – He tried his best to make things happen, but it didn’t yield any results.
Son Heung-min (5.5/10) – The Tottenham Hotspur man put in another poor performance as his supporting cast outshined him.
Cho Gue-sung (8/10) – He scored two well-taken goals, but it was not enough for his side. He justified his coach’s selection.
Na Sang-ho (5/10)
Kang-in Lee (7.5/10)
Kwon Kyung-won (6/10)
Hwang Ui-jo (4/10)
Lawrence Ati-Zigi (7/10) – His distribution was poor, but he made some good saves to help his team.
Mohammed Salisu (8/10) – There was a goal and a clearance off the line from the Southampton man. It was a solid and eventful game for him.
Daniel Amartey (7/10) – The Leicester City midfielder/defender guarded his backline superbly. It was an assured performance in defence.
Tariq Lamptey (5/10) – He failed to turn up for Ghana. This outing was another underwhelming performance.
Gideon Mensah (7/10) – He came in for Abdul Baba Rahman and was solid. It was a good performance.
Mohammed Kudus (9/10) – Kudus is the second-youngest African player to score two goals at the World Cup. It was a fantastic display from an in-form talent.
Thomas Partey (7.5/10) – The Arsenal defender was imperious in midfield and kept things ticking with his tidy passing. He bossed the midfield.
Salis Abdul Samed (6/10) – The Lens man worked hard for his team and tried to make things happen. It was a solid but unspectacular day at the office.
Andre Ayew (5.5/10) – He was ineffective when he got the ball, anonymous off it. It was a poor outing.
Inaki Williams (6/10) – It was better than the Athletic Bilbao man’s first showing but still not great. When he finally got a sniff, he fluffed his lines.
Jordan Ayew (8.5/10) – His deliveries today were sumptuous, and he played a part in the two first-half goals.
Denis Odoi (6/10)
Daniel-Kofi Kyereh (5/10)
Abdul Baba Rahman (N/A)
Kamaldeen Sulemana (5/10)
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