Uruguay beats Ghana 2 – 0 but fails to secure a spot in the knockout stages of the Qatar 2022 World Cup.
If there is anything Uruguay have been known for over the years when playing in the world cup is that when pushed against the ropes they have managed to dig deep and come out victorious. This was another instance of that as Uruguay went into this game knowing that if they beat Ghana and Portugal beat South Korea they would qualify for the knockout stage of the tournament and having not scored a goal in this tournament and losing 2-0 to Portugal, they had a lot to prove and their hopes were in Portugal beating South Korea.
Ghana, on the other hand, had already won their previous game against South Korea only needed a draw to go through to the knockout stage.
Since 2010 the World Cup winners have all come from Group H which this time round had Ghana, Portugal, South Korea and Uruguay and in 2010 these two teams met in the quarter finals with Ghana at that time hoping to be the first African team to make it to the final 4. In what was to be a very heated match where in extra time Ghana who looked like they had the better of Uruguay had a ball saved at the goal line by a Luis Suárez handball.
That saw Luis Suárez get a red card for a handball but Uruguay did go through by beating Ghana 4-2 on penalties.
Uruguay have struggled since their world cup campaign begun and before this game they had failed to score in two games.
After so much turmoil and criticism drawing nil-nil with South Korea and losing 2-0 against Portugal, Uruguay had to get a result against Ghana if they wanted to progress. They had history on their side as Uruguay come into this game having never lost to an African country.
Almost like a dejavu from 2010 the black stars got a penalty at the 18th Minute after the Uruguay goal keeper missed the ball and tripped a Ghanaian player.
But André Ayew failed to put it past Sergio Rochet resulting in a save from the goal keeper, a mistake that was to haunt Ghana.
In the 22nd minute Uruguay thought they had put the ball at the back of the net only for Mohammed Salisu to stop the ball on the line and deny a sure goal. This gave Uruguay more confidence as they pushed further forward putting more pressure on Ghana and taking the lead when Giorgian De Arrascaeta scored in the 26th minute.
Uruguay took an offensive approach which really paid off as they managed to score the second goal within a space of five minutes when Giorgian De Arrascaeta put the ball at the back of the net again at the 32nd minute mark.
With this goal, Uruguay went into half time with a 2-0 lead.
Ghana opened the 2nd half with a different style of play showing a more attack-minded team compared to the first with a chance for Ghana almost immediately with Mohammed Kudus stretching to meet a ball at the back post but was inches away.
In the 58th minute Darwin Nunez took the ball down on his chest and went down under pressure from Daniel Amartey in the box with Uruguay hoping for a penalty the referee however ruled it not a penalty
Uruguay managed to hold on for the remainder of the match, registering a 2-0 victory but it was not enough as South Korea got a late goal against Portugal which meant that their dream of progressing was over.
Ghana came so close as they needed only a point which a draw would have secured and so they have failed get their 2010 revenge on Uruguay and will be hoping for a better outcome next time.
South Korea Vs Portugal
Portugal were expected to rest their top players coming into this match having already qualified for the knockout stages, but with a great bench they were still expected to be lethal against their opposition.
The Portuguese side haven’t really been tested so far as their win against Ghana was more as a result of Ghana showing moments of anarchy and disorganization during the game which meant that even though Ghana had some moments of brilliance during the game they still lost 3-2 showing that the Portuguese defense are venerable.
In the game against Uruguay Portugal was able to beat them because Uruguay lacked a sense of team work and coordination during the 90+ minutes of play.
Portugal however had the momentum having worn two of their world cup games which helps in a tournament such as this so winning this game would have given them confidence going into the last 16.
Meanwhile, South Korea had to go all out in order to stand a chance of making it through the group stages having held Uruguay to goalless draw which was more as a result of Uruguay’s inability to score more than South Korea’s strong defense because against Ghana they let in 3 goals in a game that ended 3-2.
Their only chance of qualification was to win this game, and hope that Uruguay beat Ghana as a draw or a defeat would mean that they would be eliminated.