Ghana vs Uruguay 0-2: De Arrascaeta Brace Not Enough

Uruguay beat Ghana 2-0 on Friday but Luis Suarez and his teammates ended the game in tears as South Korea’s late winner against Portugal condemned both them and the Black Stars to an early elimination from the World Cup.

Ghana, who had started the day with the odds in their favor as they needed one point to book their tickets to the knockouts, soon gave up their qualification claim as André Ayew missed a penalty and Giorgian De Arrascaeta hit them twice before the half time break.

Uruguay, on the other hand, believed they had done enough to make it through. However, they had not taken into the account the possibility of Korea’s unlikely win over Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal. As Hwang Hee-chan put the ball past Diogo Costa on 91 minutes, the Asian Tigers found themselves into the last 16 as they scored more goals than the Celeste, who had their same goal difference. 

The game soon took a bad turn for the Black Stars, who could have put themselves ahead on 15 minutes already but failed to convert a spot kick. Sergio Rochet’s save from a Jordan Ayew’s shot was ineffective, Mohammed Kudus pounced on the rebound but was pushed down by the Charrua goalie, prompting the referee to point to the penalty spot.

André Ayew’s conversion attempt was terrible though as Rochet made the save. Flashback to 12 years ago: once again a missed penalty proved fatal for Ghana against Uruguay as many will remember Asamoah Gyan’s failed shot in the last extra time minute of a Quarter Final game at South Africa 2010…

The early scare woke up Uruguay, while Otto Addo’s side progressively faded out of the match as they were held back by their penalty nightmare. Between the 26th and the 32nd minute, the Celeste built a double lead with De Arrascaeta. First, the Flamengo midfielder headed the ball home after Lawrence Ati-Zigi had failed to block a Suarez shot, then he made it two as he finalized a brilliant team effort with a stunning right-foot volley. 

Uruguay kept looking for a third in the second half and went close to find it as a Facundo Pellistri shot sailed off target by just a few inches. The Charrua protested as a collision between Darwin Nunez and Ghanaian defender Daniel Amartey in the box was judged a non-penalty by the German referee Daniel Siebert, even after reviewing it at the VAR.  

With three minutes left, the news of South Korea’s 2-1 goal came as an absolute shocker and forced Uruguay into a desperate final onslaught. However, the Black Stars wanted to leave the tournament with their heads held high and no intention to concede another one. 

Ati-Zigi made a great save from Maxi Gomez’s desperate shot, then Edinson Cavani was tackled in the box by Alidu Seidu. The referee disallowed the penalty again, a decision that sparked violent protests from many Uruguayan players at full time. 

Uruguay left the tournament believing they were denied two clear penalties. Our impression is that the referee was right in his decisions. It was a poor ending for a generation of players like Suarez, Cavani, and Diego Godin who made the history of the Charrua in the past decade, but Korea did not steal anything.  



December 2, 2022 – FIFA World Cup Group H

SCORERS: 26′ De Arrascaeta, 32′ De Arrascaeta

GHANA (4-2-3-1): Ati-Zigi; Seidu, Amartey, Baba, Salisu; Partey, Abdul Samed (72′ Kyereh); Kudus (98’ Fatawu), A. Ayew (46′ Bukari), J. Ayew (46′ Sulemana); Williams (72′ Semenyo) (Lamptey, Odoi, Owusu, Danlad, Afriyie, Mensah, Aidoo, Nurudeen, Djiku, Sowah) Coach: Addo
URUGUAY (4-4-2): Rochet; Varela, Gimenez, Coates, Olivera; Pellistri 6 (66′ de la Cruz), Bentancur (34′ Vecino), Valverde, De Arrascaeta (80’ Maxi Gomez; Nunez (80’ Canobbio), Suarez (66′ Cavani) (Muslera, Godin, Sosa, Torreira, Vina, F. Torres, Caceres, Ugarte, J. L. Rodriguez) Coach: Alonso
REFEREE: Mr. Siebert (Germany)
NOTES: Yellow Cards: Seidu, Sulemana (G), Nunez, Suarez, Coates, Gimenez, Cavani (U); Added Time: 1st Half 8′, 2nd Half 8′
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