A Mohammed Kudus brace helped Ghana beat South Korea 3-2 in a thrilling match to revive their hopes of reaching the last 16 of the 2022 World Cup at Doha's Education City Stadium on Monday.
It was the first time in the history of the FIFA World Cup that a team like Ghana has been able to qualify for the knockout stages of the tournament," the coach said. "The team has been able to get a good result in the last two years, but it's not going to be easy. It's a good thing we're not going to be able to play in the World Cup," he said. "We're not going to be able to play in the World Cup," he added.
It was the first time that the Black Stars had taken a 2-0 lead at the break, with Mohammed Salisu and Mohammed Kudus scoring the second. But Cho Gue-sung gave the South Koreans hope with a brace (58th, 61st), before Kudus followed suit to restore Ghana's lead (68th).
The South Koreans were not to be denied, however, as Son Heung-min and his team-mates began to attack the goal in the opening minutes of the lively but fruitless match against Uruguay. But the six corners the South Koreans won in twenty minutes did not allow them to open the score against the Black Stars' defence, which was not very reassuring.
It was the Ghanaians who finally took advantage of their second set-piece to open the scoring against the run of play.
Salisu took advantage of a free-kick from Jordan Ayew to give the Ghanaians the lead after a poor clearance by Napoli defender Kim Min-jae (24th). The goal was then ruled in as a result of a suspected handball by Andre Ayew, but the referee did not rule it out.
Ayew's younger brother Jordan made full use of his coach's confidence, setting up a second free-kick for the talented Ajax Amsterdam midfielder Kudus to head home (34').
But the Taeguk Warriors showed great mental strength after the break. In the second half, the Taeguk Warriors showed great mental strength, with Cho of Jeonbuk Motors preferred to former Bordeaux man Hwang Ui-jo, who was ineffective against Uruguay (0-0), heading home a brace in the 58th and 61st minutes.
Kudus then put the South Koreans out of their misery with his second goal of the match, a left-footed strike (68th). He gave his team the right to dream of a place in the last 16.
It's a great way to get back into the game," he said, "but it's not the only way to get back into the game.
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