Kudus is hero as Black Stars survive South Korea’s fight back

Mohammed Kudus was the hero, yesterday at the Education City Stadium, where Black Stars of Ghana recorded their first victory at the ongoing Qatar 2022 World Cup.

Ghana lost their first game of the competition 2-3 to Portugal and needed to beat South Korea to retain hopes of making the round of 16. They did just that, with Kudus scoring twice in the game that demanded the last drop of sweat from the West Africans.

The Ghanaians took the lead through Mohammed Salisu, albeit against the run of play in the 24th minute, before Kudus, who plays for Ajax Amsterdam, doubled the lead 10 minutes later.

When it seemed that Ghana was coasting to their first win of the competition, South Korea came out stronger in the second half and pulled level with two quick goals from Cho Gue-sung in the 58th and 61st minutes.

Kudus

A stunned Ghana could not muster much in attack as the South Koreans, buoyed by the turn of events, took the fight to the Black Stars.
But they quickly recovered and regained the lead in the 68th minute when Kudus finished calmly at the back post after Inaki Williams failed to connect with a cross from the left.

The result takes Ghana into second in Group H by three points.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal will have six points and secure qualification for the last 16 if they beat Uruguay in the later kick-off in Qatar.

Despite their efforts, South Korea look likely to crash out of the tournament at the group stage for the third straight World Cup.

Victory was not certain for the Ghanaians as they adopted the rope-a-dope style in the face of Korea’s quest for parity.

With regulation time over, Ghana had to endure an additional time of 10 minutes, which brought out the best in their goalkeeper, Lawrence Ati Zigi.

South Korea continued to pour forward but they could not find a way past Zigi and a number of their players crowded around the referee when he ended the game.

In the melee that followed, South Korea’s coach, Paulo Bento, was sent off for protesting at the end of the match.

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