Anchor: Team Korea is now on the brink of group elimination at the 2022 Qatar World Cup after suffering a 3-2 defeat against Ghana in their second match on Monday night. The Taegeuk Warriors were able to nullify Ghana’s early lead with a second-half rally on Cho Gue-sung’s headers but failed to turn the tide. The Koreans must win their remaining duel with group favorite Portugal and will also have to rely heavily on the remaining matches among their rivals to advance.
Moon Gwang-lip has more.
Report: South Korea lost to Ghana 3-2 in their second Group H match at the 2022 Qatar World Cup at Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan on Monday night.
Korea earned seven corner kicks in the first 18 minutes and dominated with 64 percent of the possession in the first 20 minutes. Coming off a match with no shots on goal against Uruguay last Thursday, the Taegeuk Warriors hit a handful of shots on target against Ghana in the first half.
The Ghanaians, however, were more effective with the ball, with Mohammed Salisu giving Ghana the lead by connecting to the end of Jordan Ayew’s freekick into the box in the 24th minute, followed ten minutes later by Mohammed Kudus scoring a second for Ghana.
Korea sought to turn the game around by utilizing its attacking players, including Son Heung-min, who started for the second consecutive match sporting a protective mask that covered his facial fractures. However, Cho Gue-sung, the K-League's top scorer, proved to be better than the Tottenham Hotspur forward at making the most of chances, heading in a left-footed cross by substitute Lee Kang-in 13 minutes into the second half.
Three minutes later, Cho again connected to a Kim Jin-su cross with another header that was too strong for goalie Lawrence Ati Zigi to parry away, bringing the score even.
Team Korea ultimately fell short of further breaking down the Ghanian defense, losing a crucial chance of securing favorable odds of advancing to the knockout round for the first time in 12 years after Kudus sealed the victory in the 68th minute.
With only a point on the board, Korea has an uphill battle to secure the last of the two berths to the Round of 16, with a must-win over ninth-ranked Portugal on Saturday likely to be only a part of the requirements.
Korea will also have to look for much help from the remaining match among its rivals. Portugal has already secured a place in the last 16 by beating Uruguay 2-0 in the other second round of Group H games.
The Korea-Portugal match will be held at the same stadium at 12 a.m. Saturday, Korea time. The Uruguay-Ghana match will be held simultaneously.
Moon Gwang-lip, KBS World Radio News.