Ghana, Korea and Uruguay will play for the remaining promotion spot in Group H at the World Cup


Update: 01.12.2022 16:25

Doha – On Friday, the rest of Group H will be decided at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. The Portuguese, who have been 100% successful so far in the tournament, are already certain of the elimination fights, and the second participant in the round of 16 will be decided between Ghana, Korea and Uruguay. In the best position is the African team, which has two points more than its competitors. A draw could be enough for the Ghanaians in the duel with Uruguay, on the other hand, the South American team needs to win just like the Koreans against Portugal.

The Ghanaians lost to Portugal 2-3 at the start of the tournament, but then beat Korea with the same result. The African team is starting at the World Cup for the fourth time and only failed to advance from the group at the last participation eight years ago. A draw would be enough for the Ghanaians to take part in the top 16, if Korea beat the Portuguese by no more than one goal or if they did not score a high number of goals in a narrow victory.

The Ghanaians can avenge their World Cup quarter-final defeat to Uruguay in 2010, when the African team was eliminated in a penalty shoot-out after missing a free-kick at the end of regulation time on the hand of Luis Suárez, who prevented a goal on the goal line and was sent off.

“For me, this is not a big issue. Every player would do his best to ensure that his team advances. What happened in 2010 is sad, but we are looking forward,” said Ghana coach Otto Addo. “Uruguay is a very compact team. They have a lot of experience, excellent strikers. It will be very balanced, but we have what it takes to beat them,” he added.

So far, Uruguay remains below expectations in Qatar. The 1930s and 1950s world champions are the only ones not to have scored at the championships as they first drew 0-0 with Korea before losing 2-0 to Portugal. The Uruguayans are starting at the World Cup for the fourth time in a row and have advanced to the playoffs in their last three appearances. This time, even a win might not be enough for them if Korea wins against the Portuguese.

“We are going to put all our soul and life into the upcoming match. Ghana is a very good team, but we know them. We have beaten them before and we know how to beat them again,” said Suárez, who celebrated tumultuously after his dismissal 12 years ago penalty by the Ghanaians. “I have no reason to apologize. It’s not my fault that I didn’t give the penalty,” added the 35-year-old Uruguayan top scorer.

After the triumphs over Ghana and Uruguay, the Portuguese are already certain to advance after two rounds. The European champions from 2016 want to win Group H and avoid the expected winner of the “goofball” Brazil in the round of 16. For that, they need to get at least a point, if they don’t want to rely on the result of the game Ghana – Uruguay. “It would be a battle between two great teams, but both us and the Brazilians wish we could meet later,” Portugal coach Fernando Santos said.

It is uncertain whether captain Cristiano Ronaldo, who missed Wednesday’s training session and was in the gym, will play in the match against Korea. “I think it’s 50 to 50 whether he will play or not. We’ll see how he is physically,” Santos said.

The Koreans have only won a point from their opening two matches and are not in control of the situation. If Ghana beat Uruguay, even a possible victory over Portugal would not be enough for the Asian team to progress. The Koreans, the fourth team from the world championship in 2002, are in danger of finishing in the group for the third time in a row.

Portuguese coach Paulo Bento will be missing from their bench, who received a red card for protests at the end of the last match. He is still looking forward to the fight with his compatriots, which he led in the past. “I was born Portuguese and I will die Portuguese. But now I work for Korea. I trust my assistants, we make most of the decisions together. This time they will be alone, but nothing much will change,” Bento said.

Both games kick off at 16:00 on Friday.

Statistics before World Cup matches in football:

Group H:

Korea – Portugal

Kick-off: Friday 2 December, 16:00 CET (Rajján).

Referees: Tello – Brailovsky, Chade (all Arg.) – Gallo (video, Colombia).

FIFA Ranking: 28th – 9th

Total balance: 1 1-0-0 1:0.

Balances at MS: 1 1-0-0 1:0.

Top scorers from the current nomination: Son Hung-min (35) – Ronaldo (118).

Tournament top scorers: Cho Ku-song – Fernandes (both 2).

Points of Interest:

– in the only match between them so far, Korea won the 2002 World Cup, which it co-hosted, 1:0

– Korea drew 0-0 with Uruguay at the championship and lost to Ghana 2-3

– Portugal are certain of the round of 16 after 3-2 wins over Ghana and 2-0 over Uruguay

– Korea is playing at the 11th and 10th consecutive World Cup, its highest being 4th place in 2002 (the best Asian performance in history)

– Portugal is playing at the World Cup for the eighth and sixth time in a row, its highest is 3rd place in 1966

– Korea won only one of the last 11 duels at the World Cup

– Portugal are unbeaten in 13 of their last 14 World Cup group games

– Hwang Hee-chan (Korea) can claim his 50th national team start

Ghana – Uruguay

Kick-off: Friday, December 2, 16:00 CET (Vakra).

Referees: Siebert – Seidel, Foltyn – Dankert (video, all German).

FIFA Ranking: 61st – 14th

Total balance: 1 0-1-0 1:1.

Balances at MS: 1 0-1-0 1:1.

Best scorers from the current nomination: A. Ayew (24) – Suárez (68).

Top scorers in the tournament: Kudus (2) – none.

Points of Interest:

– the teams only met in the quarter-finals of the 2010 World Cup, in normal time and after extra time the duel ended 1:1, Uruguay won on penalties

– After an opening 2-3 loss to Portugal, Ghana defeated Korea by the same ratio in the tournament

– Uruguay drew with Korea 0:0 and lost to Portugal 0:2

– Ghana starts at the World Cup for the fourth time and after 8 years, the furthest they reached the quarter-finals was in 2010

– Uruguay is competing at the World Cup for the fourteenth time and fourth time in a row, having won gold in 1930 and 1950

– Ghana won the last World Cup after 5 matches

– Uruguay lost after 6 matches in the group stage of the World Cup last time

– Uruguay did not score 3 times in a row at the World Cup


Source: České noviny – sport by www.ceskenoviny.cz.

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