Ghana, the bottom ranked crew of the event, stunned the Portuguese. Will they do the identical to the South Koreans?
Who: South Korea vs Ghana, Group H
When: Monday at 4pm (13:00 GMT)
The place: Training Metropolis Stadium, Al Rayyan
FIFA rankings: South Korea 28, Ghana 61
When the ultimate whistle blew, Portugal goalkeeper Diogo Costa bowed his head and solemnly walked off the pitch. It was an uncharacteristic response for somebody who had completed his World Cup debut on the profitable aspect. Ghana ahead Inaki Williams was liable for Costa’s moroseness.
Simply moments earlier, Costa had been caught out by Williams when taking a objective kick. Williams had lingered behind on the objective and pounced on Costa the minute he put the ball down. Williams’ wiliness took Portugal without warning, and out of nothing, he had an empty objective to fireplace into. However that’s the place his luck ran out. He slipped as he gained the ball, and his tame shot didn’t even attain the objective.
Event soccer hinges closely on margins. Had Williams not slipped, Ghana would have made it 3-3. All 4 groups within the group would then have had one level. However he did, and consequently, the Black Stars enter their subsequent recreation towards South Korea pointless and backside of their group. Margins.
Coming in because the lowest-ranked crew of the event, little was anticipated of this Ghanian aspect. However what they lack in high quality, they make up for in tenacity. They pushed Portugal to the hilt and have been unlucky to not come away with at the least a degree.
Ghana, led by their tireless captain, André Ayew, confirmed of their first recreation that they aren’t going to be pushovers. Mohammed Kudus, the 22-year-old Ajax midfielder, is the X issue of this Ghanaian aspect, and his sharp actions created issues for Portugal.
However questions stay over their defence, which capitulated within the second half. Portugal’s three targets flattered their efficiency on the night time.
Ghana now play a aspect that didn’t have a shot on course of their opening recreation – however has the tempo to bother Ghana.
South Korea’s goalless draw towards Uruguay was the primary time that either side have didn’t have a shot on course in a World Cup match this century.
The Taeguk Warriors’ defensive quartet of Kims deserve credit score for holding a clear sheet towards an assault that includes Darwin Nunez, Luis Suarez, Federico Valverde and Edinson Cavani. Ayew and his crew could have their work lower out for them towards this South Korea aspect, which has prevented its opponents from scoring in its final three video games and has conceded simply six targets in its final eight video games.
Son Heung-min sported a masks within the recreation towards Uruguay, however South Korea’s superhero was largely ineffective. Whereas he has struggled for type this season for Tottenham, he stays South Korea’s most potent drive and has scored 4 targets in his final seven appearances for his nation. South Korea’s tempo is their key energy.
It’s a crunch recreation for either side. A win would enhance South Korea’s probabilities of qualification and they’d have the ability to enter their remaining recreation towards a fancied Portugal with the consolation of already having 4 factors on the board.
Ghana must keep away from defeat to stay within the competitors. They tackle Uruguay in a tantalising remaining group recreation, wherein they’ll be trying to actual revenge for Suarez’s handball clearance within the 2010 World Cup quarter-final.
That added motivation might assist carry them over the end line towards Uruguay if they begin that recreation with their qualification probabilities intact. The probabilities are beautiful.
For that, they should first safe factors towards South Korea, towards whom Ghana maintain the sting of their head-to-head report, having gained 4 of the seven video games they’ve performed. The final time they met, Jordan Ayew’s hat-trick led Ghana to a 4-0 win.
Each side would seemingly accept a narrower win this time. As soon as once more, it might come all the way down to the margins.