Ghana kept their 2022 Fifa World Cup campaign alive by edging South Korea in a 3-2 thriller as Mohammed Kudus and Gue-Sung Cho both scored twice in a rollercoaster Group H clash at Education City Stadium on Monday.
The Black Stars needed to avoid defeat to avoid early elimination and looked set to cruise to three points after Mohammed Salisu and Kudus gave them a 2-0 lead at half-time.
But Cho Guesung struck twice in the space of three minutes after the break to level things up, before 22-year-old Kudus of Ajax fired in what proved to be the winner in the 68th minute.
Ghana held on to record their first World Cup win since reaching the quarter-finals in 2010, setting up a tantalising final group game against Uruguay – the side that knocked them out 12 years ago in controversial fashion.
South Korea started brightly, pinning Ghana back and racking up seven corners inside the opening 17 minutes, but their lack of cutting edge was punished when Salisu knocked in a rebound after Jordan Ayew’s free-kick wasn’t dealt with by the South Korea defence.
The goal sparked Otto Addo’s side into life and they took control of proceedings, doubling their advantage 10 minutes later when Ayew’s inviting cross was nodded in from six yards by the impressive Kudus.
South Korea were desperately lacking spark in the final third during the first half but came to life after the break, as Ati-Zigi was drawn into a fantastic reaction save on Cho from close range in a warning of what was to come.
Substitute Kang-In Lee made an instant impact, winning the ball on the left wing and swinging in a cross for Cho to head home, and just three minutes later the striker had his second, nodding in a hanging Jin-Su Kim cross from three yards out to draw his country level.
But Ghana soon restored their lead. Inaki Williams missed a cut-back with an air-shot inside the area, but the ball fell to Kudus behind him to slot home a finish, the third goal of a remarkable 10-minute period.
South Korea piled on the pressure into ten minutes off added time in search of an equaliser, but they couldn’t find a way through the Black Stars defence, with another good Ati-Zigi save and a goal-line clearance helping them over the finish line.
It marked another good result for African sides in the second round of group games, after Senegal and Morocco’s wins over Qatar and Belgium respectively.
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