South Korea will look to record their first win in the World Cup finals this year when they face Ghana at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan.
Venue: Education City Stadium (Al Rayyan)
South Korea have a 76% unbeaten rate against African nations (W27, D15, L13).
Just two of South Korea’s last 11 internationals produced a goalless first half.
South Korea have lost just one of their last ten games (W6, D3).
Ghana have six clean sheets from their last ten games (W6, L4).
They have scored in ten of their 13 all-time World Cup tournament matches.
World Cup trivia: Never before has an Asian or African nation lifted the World Cup. European nations have won 12, whilst South American sides claimed the remaining nine of the 21 tournaments held before Qatar 2022.
Head to head
Both sides have three wins in six games between them.
Latest performances in all competitions
South Korea: D-W-W-D-L
With two teams having booked their place in the next round of the World Cup, South Korea will be looking to have one foot into the next stage when they take on Ghana at the Education City Stadium.
Having played out a 0-0 draw with Uruguay in their opening game, South Korea remain well on course to qualify out of Group H. However, Paulo Bento’s side will have to pick up maximum points from Ghana to keep their qualification hopes alive.
The Portuguese coach was impressed with his team’s defensive performance against Uruguay, who enjoyed the larger share of possession but could not find a way past a disciplined South Korean defence. However, the Asian country will count itself fortunate to have come out with a draw, with Diego Godin and Federico Valverde having come close twice only to be denied by the goalpost.
However, his team’s inability to muster up a goal-scoring opportunity against Uruguay will be a cause of concern for the gaffer. As he prepares his team for a crunch clash with the Black Stars of Ghana, he will be keen to see them show more attacking impetus this time.
With Portugal and Uruguay emerging as the bookmaker’s favourites to emerge out of Group H, South Korea know that they have to give their shot at progression a big boost by picking up a win over Ghana. With Portugal the favourite to win the clash with Uruguay, Paulo Bento knows that his side stands a real chance of booking a place in the next rounds with a win, and will be fired up to help them however possible to emerge victorious at the Education City Stadium.
Possible South Korea starting line-up
Seung-Gyu Kim, Moon-hwan Kim, Min-Jae Kim, Young-Gwon Kim, Jin-Su Kim, In-beom Hwang, Woo-Young Jung, Na Sang-ho, Jae-Sung Lee, Heung-Min Son, Ui-Jo Hwang.
Ghana, on the other hand, played out a pulsating five-goal thriller with Portugal at the Ras Aboud stadium, much to the disappointment of the travelling fans who would have felt they were robbed following a controversial call to hand Portugal a penalty in the second half.
Otto Addo’s boys put up an impressive first-half performance to stifle Fernando Santos’s side as the first half ended in a draw. Ghana continued their fine performance in the second half but were undone by a controversial penalty awarded to Portugal in the 65th after Ronaldo tumbled inside the area under pressure from Mohammed Salisu. The former Manchester United attacker made no mistake from the spot, beating Lawrence Ati-Zigi with a powerful drive.
The goal seemed to have sparked the game into life as Ghana responded almost immediately courtesy of Andre Ayew, who poked home a finish following a defensive error by Danilo Pereira in the 73rd minute. Portugal restored their lead five minutes later through Jaoa Felix, who chipped the ball over the on-rushing goalkeeper following a good team move before Rafael Leao made it three for Fernando Santo’s side. Ghana looked to snatch a late equaliser after Osman Bukari clawed one back for the Black Stars in the 89th minute, but Portugal did just enough to see out the tie.
Head coach Otto Addo will now look to prepare his boys for a decisive game against South Korea, knowing that a loss will mean automatic disqualification. The game against the Asian side, therefore, becomes a must-win encounter for the Black Stars. However, Ghana are no strangers to the Asian side, having faced them in four friendly games since June 2006, picking up three wins and one loss. Otto Addo will be confident of his team’s chances of taking the three points.
Possible Ghana starting line-up
Lawrence Ati, Alidu Seidu, Alexander Djiku, Daniel Amartey, Mohammed Salisu, Abdul-Rahman Baba, Mohammed Kudus, Thomas Partey, Salis Abdul Samed, André Ayew, Iñaki Williams.
|South Korea to win
|Ghana to win
South Korea 1-2 Ghana