Thrilling Ghana 3-2 World Cup victory over South Korea

DOHA, 29 Nov 2022:

Ghana clinched a 3-2 World Cup victory over South Korea in one of the tournament’s most thrilling games after Mohammed Kudus scored a brace, including a 68th-minute winner yesterday.

The win is noteworthy after Ghana scored three goals in a single World Cup match for the first time in their history, while Kudus became the first player to score a brace in a single match for Ghana in the World Cup.

Mohammed Salisu scored the opener for Ghana in the 24th minute before teammate Kudus scored the second goal 10 minutes later.

High morale was not enough for Ghana at the start of the second half which featured high pressure from South Korea before Cho Gue-sung scored two remarkable headers, the first in the 58th minute and an equalising one three minutes later to snatch a deserved draw.

Despite the Korean high pressure on all fronts, Ghana’s Kudus netted the winner in the 68th minute.

Bruno Fernandes scored a pair of second-half goals as Portugal topped Uruguay 2-0 in Group H action and became the third team to book their place in the 2022 World Cup’s round of 16.

The Iberian side dominated possession and had full control of the contest in the early going at Lusail Iconic Stadium in Qatar’s second-largest city, while Uruguay put on a woefully unambitious and cautious display of soccer in which all of their main attacking weapons – Federico Valverde, Edinson Cavani and Darwin Nuñez – were equally ineffective.

Ironically, however, the South American squad still had the best scoring chance of the first half – a drive by midfielder Rodrigo Betancur past a trio of Portuguese defenders that forced net minder Diogo Costa to make an outstanding save.

Portugal, for their part, were unable to create a clear scoring opportunity despite their superiority on the field and the score remained 0-0 until 10 minutes into the second half, when Cristiano Ronaldo appeared to head home a cross from Fernandes.

The goal went in the books, but it was credited to the 28-year-old Manchester United midfielder after FIFA ruled that Ronaldo, a five-time Ballon d’Or winner, had not made contact with the ball on the play.

The 1-0 deficit finally lit a fire under Uruguay, who began in earnest to seek their first goal of the 2022 World Cup.

But Uruguay’s newfound aggression came too little too late on a day that belonged to Fernandes, who scored his second goal three minutes into injury time when he converted a penalty chance after dribbling between defender Jose Maria Gimenez’s legs and forcing the falling defender into a hand ball.

With their second win in as many games in Qatar, Portugal have become the third team after France and Brazil to book their spot in the last 16.

They will next take on South Korea in their final round-robin contest on Friday, while Uruguay have one draw and one loss and must defeat Ghana that same day to have any chance of remaining in the tournament.

Brazil struggled to break down Switzerland’s well-organised defence for most of their World Cup Group G contest on Monday, but a goal by Casemiro with time winding down in the second half gave his side a 1-0 victory and a berth in the tournament’s knockout stage.

With star forward Neymar Jr out with an ankle injury, Brazil turned to Raphinha and Vinicius Junior for a spark at Stadium 974.

After a scoreless first half, Brazilian head coach Tite tried to inject some more offence by substituting forward Rodrygo for midfielder Lucas Paqueta.

The move appeared to pay off 20 minutes later in a three-man play featuring Rodrygo, Casemiro and Vinicius, who booted the ball inside the far post for what seemed to be the opening goal. It was disallowed, however, for offside in the buildup and the game remained 0-0.

But while Brazil’s forwards were unable to finish in the final third, defensive midfielder Casemiro stepped up to produce some individual heroics of his own in the 83rd minute.

Cameroon and Serbia on Monday gained one point each after a dramatic 3-3 tie – leaving Group G still unsettled at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

Jean-Charles Castelletto opened for Cameroon in the 29th minute with things looking promising for the team until Serbia turned the tide around in first-half stoppage time.

Strahinja Pavlovic scored the drawing 1-1 goal, followed quickly by another goal by teammate Sergej Milinkovic-Savic just two minutes before the referee blew the half-time whistle.

Serbia managed to make use of the momentum created in the late stages of the first half, as Aleksandar Mitrovic scored the third goal in the 53rd minute.

Just as Cameroon faced a dim outlook, Vincent Aboubakar and teammate Eric Maxim Choupo Moting changed the game again, scoring their second and third goals in the 63rd and 66th minutes respectively.