Ghana’s senior national soccer team, the Black Stars, yesterday won an exhilarating match packed with twists and turns against their South Korean counterparts, the Taegeuk Warriors.
In the epic second group stage game in the Qatar 2022 World Cup played at the Education City Stadium, there were lots of action in the first half as Ghana dominated play, leading a 2-0, only for the Koreans to equalise in the second half, and put Ghana under severe pressure.
The Koreans started the game on front foot, and dominated the opening minutes of the match with a high pressing football against the Black Star. They looked strong during the first twenty minutes, forcing seven corner kicks against the Stars.
Both teams failed to win their first games, with Ghana facing elimination if they had lost this match. The Black Stars went ahead in the 24th minute with a close-range goal from Southampton’s centre-back Mohammed Salisu after a beautiful from Jordan Ayew.
The lead was extended by the goal from Mohammed Kudus, with Jordan Ayew providing the assist.
The second half started with a fantastic save by the Ghanaian goalkeeper. The ball was swung in from the left, and was headed by Cho Gue-sung, but Ati-Zigi made a glorious dive to stop the ball.
South Korea got back into the game with two quick goals by Cho in the 57th and 61st minutes. Two stunning headers in three minutes from Cho Gue-sung, top-scorer in his domestic league, levelled the game after 61 minutes.
But Ajax forward Mohammed Kudus, who had headed in Jordan Ayew’s cross in the first half, added a final twist when he thumped in a third for Ghana to break South Korea’s hearts.
Chances continued to fall South Korea’s way as they searched for another equaliser, despite 10 minutes of added time in which Ghana doggedly held on.
In good spirit, Ghana will now face old foes Uruguay in the next match, whereas South Korea will have to win against Portugal to keep their chances alive.
In a congratulatory message, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo praised the national team’s “passionate and hard fought performance” on the field of play, culminating in a three point earn.
Taking to Twitter, the President said he was proud of the entire team, and charged them not to relent in their subsequent matches.
“Kudos to the Black Stars. Hard fought, but thorough and well-deserved victory against South Korea. Proud of the entire team and the unalloyed support that was given to them by all Ghanaians. Now to the final group stage game against Uruguay. #WeCanDoIt #GoBlackStarsGo,” he tweeted.
Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia also lauded the Black Stars over their win. “Congratulations to our gallant Ghana Black Stars. The country appreciates your efforts and hard work in today’s game. You chased and caught your dreams. Go for qualification in our last group game against Uruguay on Friday. You can do it,” he urged them.
Similarly, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen, commended the Black Stars for the impressive victory.
“Congratulations to the Black Stars on their impressive 3-2 victory over South Korea today in the ongoing 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. The players exhibited a sense of discipline, resilience and determination to fight till the last whistle. All of Ghana is behind you. March on gallantly as you do battle in the next matches and bring glory to our motherland. Go Black Stars. Go for Gold. God bless our homeland Ghana!,” he wrote.