Ghana won an exhilarating match packed with twists and turns against South Korea in front of a vibrant crowd at Education City Stadium in Qatar.

A 10-minute spell in the first half by the African nation gave them a 2-0 lead courtesy of goals from Southampton defender Mohammed Salisu and Ajax’s Mohammed Kudus.

However, noisy celebrations by Ghana fans at half time were dampened by a South Korea comeback after the break.

Two stunning headers in three minutes from Cho Gue-sung, the top scorer in his domestic league, levelled the game after 61 minutes.

But the impressive Kudus, who had deftly 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 but, despite 10 minutes of added time, Ghana held on.

Ghana celebrate their second goal
Ghana scored three goals in a World Cup match for the first time

There were emotional scenes at the final whistle as many South Korea players fell to the ground while manager Paulo Bento was sent off for arguing with English referee Anthony Taylor for not allowing a corner to be taken despite the 10 minutes having elapsed.

“We had the opportunity to have a corner kick, the referee took that opportunity away from us,” assistant coach Sergio Costa said afterwards.

“Paulo [Bento] reacted, I was close by and he said nothing that was inappropriate to the referee. It was a reaction from a person that felt a lack of fairness at the end of the match.

“It is a normal reaction from someone that did everything to win and didn’t. We can feel sad and we can feel a lack of justice. We gave our souls on the pitch.”

In contrast, elated Ghana substitutes sprinted onto the pitch to celebrate as fans in the stand blew whistles and danced in celebration.

With Portugal to come next for South Korea, this feels a significant defeat, while Ghana – unfortunate to lose against Portugal – will face Uruguay knowing a win will take them through to the last 16 and a draw might be enough.

Portugal defeated Uruguay 2-0 in Monday’s late match to confirm their progression to the knockout stage.

Dramatic ending to key match in Group H

Ghana fans celebrate
Ghana fans were in great voice throughout and celebrated loudly at the end

It was a frenetic game from beginning to end as both teams enjoyed spells of pressure without ever gaining sustained control.

South Korea started quickly, winning numerous corners and getting star forward Son Heung-min of Tottenham Hotspur on the ball regularly.

He was locked in a battle with young Brighton full-back Tariq Lamptey down the left wing but Ghana defended well and limited South Korea’s chances.

Then came Ghana’s two goals in 10 minutes and as Bento’s side trudged off at half time, a way back into the game did not appear likely.

Southampton’s Salisu pounced on a scramble in the box to poke in the opener after 24 minutes before Kudus flicked on Ayew’s cross and sprinted to the corner flag in delirious celebration.

But Gue-sung suddenly had South Korea fans on their feet – with some even close to tears – as two superb headers brought the teams level and briefly silenced the dancing Ghana supporters.

The momentum was with South Korea but Kudus was clinical when he thumped in a third and decisive goal after team-mate Inaki Williams had missed a cross from the left.

Ghana goalkeeper Lawrence Ati Zigi made several saves in the closing minutes as South Korea poured forward but to no avail.

The scenes at full time indicated the importance of the result to both teams, the real significance of which will be felt after the Uruguay-Portugal game in Monday’s late kick-off in Group H.

“The second half was totally different. We had control, possession and opportunities to score but the result at the end is totally unfair,” added South Korea’s Costa.

“Not even a tie would have been fair. We clearly deserved to win. I think we can be very proud of what we did and can count on us in the next match.”

Player of the match

LampteyTariq Lamptey

with an average of 8.34

South Korea

  1. Squad number9Player nameCho Gue-Sung

    Average rating


  2. Squad number4Player nameKim Min-Jae

    Average rating


  3. Squad number18Player nameLee Kang-In

    Average rating


  4. Squad number7Player nameSon Heung-Min

    Average rating


  5. Squad number3Player nameKim Jin-Su

    Average rating


  6. Squad number5Player nameJung Woo-Young

    Average rating


  7. Squad number25Player nameJeong Woo-Yeong

    Average rating


  8. Squad number16Player nameHwang Ui-Jo

    Average rating


  9. Squad number6Player nameHwang In-Beom

    Average rating


  10. Squad number17Player nameNa Sang-Ho

    Average rating


  11. Squad number15Player nameKim Moon-Hwan

    Average rating


  12. Squad number19Player nameKim Young-Gwon

    Average rating


  13. Squad number22Player nameKwon Chang-Hoon

    Average rating


  14. Squad number20Player nameKwon Kyung-Won

    Average rating


  15. Squad number1Player nameKim Seung-gyu

    Average rating



  1. Squad number2Player nameLamptey

    Average rating


  2. Squad number20Player nameKudus

    Average rating


  3. Squad number4Player nameSalisu

    Average rating


  4. Squad number9Player nameJ Ayew

    Average rating


  5. Squad number10Player nameA Ayew

    Average rating


  6. Squad number1Player nameAti-Zigi

    Average rating


  7. Squad number18Player nameAmartey

    Average rating


  8. Squad number21Player nameAbdul Samed

    Average rating


  9. Squad number5Player namePartey

    Average rating


  10. Squad number14Player nameMensah

    Average rating


  11. Squad number19Player nameWilliams

    Average rating


  12. Squad number22Player nameSulemana

    Average rating


  13. Squad number8Player nameKyereh

    Average rating


  14. Squad number23Player nameDjiku

    Average rating


  15. Squad number17Player nameBaba

    Average rating


  16. Squad number3Player nameOdoi

    Average rating



South Korea

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Kim Seung-gyu
  • 15Kim
  • 4KimSubstituted forKwonat 90+2′minutes
  • 19Kim Young-GwonBooked at 77mins
  • 3Kim
  • 5Jung Woo-YoungBooked at 27minsSubstituted forHwangat 79′minutes
  • 6Hwang
  • 22KwonSubstituted forLeeat 57′minutes
  • 25JeongSubstituted forNaat 45′minutes
  • 7Son Heung-Min
  • 9Cho


  • 2Yoon
  • 8Paik
  • 10Lee Jae-Sung
  • 11Hwang Hee-Chan
  • 12Song
  • 13Son
  • 14Hong Chul
  • 16Hwang
  • 17Na
  • 18Lee
  • 20Kwon
  • 21Cho Hyun-Woo
  • 23Kim
  • 24Cho
  • 26Song


Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Ati-Zigi
  • 2LampteyBooked at 73minsSubstituted forOdoiat 78′minutes
  • 18AmarteyBooked at 21mins
  • 4Salisu
  • 14MensahSubstituted forBabaat 88′minutes
  • 5Partey
  • 21Abdul Samed
  • 20KudusSubstituted forDjikuat 83′minutes
  • 10A AyewSubstituted forKyerehat 78′minutes
  • 9J AyewSubstituted forSulemanaat 78′minutes
  • 19Williams


  • 3Odoi
  • 6Owusu
  • 7Fatawu
  • 8Kyereh
  • 11Bukari
  • 12Danlad
  • 13Afriyie
  • 15Aidoo
  • 16Nurudeen
  • 17Baba
  • 22Sulemana
  • 23Djiku
  • 24Sowah
  • 25Semenyo
  • 26Seidu

Anthony Taylor


Match Stats

Live Text

  1. Match ends, Korea Republic 2, Ghana 3.

  2. Second Half ends, Korea Republic 2, Ghana 3.

  3. Corner, Korea Republic. Conceded by Salis Abdul Samed.

  4. Attempt blocked. Kwon Kyung-Won (Korea Republic) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Hwang In-Beom.

  5. Attempt missed. Lee Kang-In (Korea Republic) left footed shot from outside the box is too high.

  6. Corner, Korea Republic. Conceded by Abdul Rahman Baba.

  7. Kwon Kyung-Won (Korea Republic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Foul by Iñaki Williams (Ghana).

  9. Foul by Cho Gue-Sung (Korea Republic).

  10. Alexander Djiku (Ghana) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  11. Attempt blocked. Kim Jin-Su (Korea Republic) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Kim Young-Gwon with a cross.

  12. Hwang In-Beom (Korea Republic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  13. Foul by Kamaldeen Sulemana (Ghana).

  14. Corner, Korea Republic. Conceded by Lawrence Ati-Zigi.

  15. Attempt saved. Cho Gue-Sung (Korea Republic) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Lee Kang-In.

  16. Corner, Korea Republic. Conceded by Denis Odoi.

  17. Kwon Kyung-Won (Korea Republic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  18. Foul by Iñaki Williams (Ghana).

  19. Substitution, Korea Republic. Kwon Kyung-Won replaces Kim Min-Jae.

  20. Attempt saved. Na Sang-Ho (Korea Republic) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Kim Jin-Su.

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