Kudus boosts Ghana’s World Cup hopes as they defeat South Korea
Ghana edges out South Korea 3-2 in a thrilling game.
In a dramatic and unpredictable World Cup Group H match on Monday, Ghana defeated South Korea 3-2 thanks to two goals from Mohammed Kudus, keeping them in the running for the next round.
Cho Gue-sung scored twice in three minutes to tie the score at 2-2 after Ghana had led 2-0 at the half. Kudus then scored to give Ghana the lead and secure victory at the Education City Stadium.
Ghana, who lost their opening group game 3-2 to Portugal, moved on to three points in the group, with the Koreans on one after two games.
With a fumbled goal from center-back Mohammed Salisu in the 24th minute and a glancing header from Kudus ten minutes later, Ghana held off early Korean pressure to go up 2-0.
Jordan Ayew, who was reinstated to the starting lineup, delivered both goals with consummate skill as Ghana fielded a considerably more offensive lineup than it did against Portugal.
The Korean defence was caught off guard by Ayew’s expertly weighted free kick, and Salisu quickly turned to score the game’s first goal as the ball whirled about. Before English referee Anthony Taylor could certify the goal, VAR took a while to verify its legitimacy.
Once more, Ayew launched a dangerous cross that Kudus met with a glancing touch on his head to double the Black Stars’ advantage.
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Early second-half substitutions gave Korea’s attack new life, and after just one minute on the field, Lee kang-in assisted in taking down Tariq Lamptey and fired in a cross that Cho quickly charged at, leaving Salisu watching as he dribbled in front of his defender to score a header in the 58th minute.
The 24-year-old centre forward was even more determined as a chip from Kim Jin-su caught the out-of-position goalkeeper Lawrence Ati-Zigi scrambling and Cho climbed above the centre backs to score a dramatic equaliser, right in front of a bank of screaming Korean supporters.
Ghana, who would have been eliminated from the World Cup had they lost, looked vulnerable but were handed a surprise lifeline by sloppy Korean defending in the 68th minute.
While the Korean backline failed to attack the ball, Gideon Mensah was able to send in a cross from the left, which Inaki Williams missed but fell to Kudus for a left-footed goal.
After the fortunate break in the game for the Black Stars, Ati-Zigi made a superb save from Lee’s free kick and watched as Kim Jin-errant SU’s attempt was cleared off the line.
Korea pounded Ghana’s goal for the entire extra 10 minutes, but they were unable to score another equalizer. Ghana continued to live in danger.
The referee was besieged at the final whistle as he ended the game with South Korea about to take a corner and their coach Paulo Bento earned a red card for his protestations.