Mohammed Kudus double gives Black Stars of Ghana victory against South Korea 3-2 Win

 Korea's World Cup hopes are hanging by a slender thread after a 3-2 defeat against Ghana in Qatar on Monday. With just one point from the first two games in Group H, Paulo Bento's men are going to need a convincing win over Portugal on Friday and hope that other results are favorable.

While the game had excitement for the neutral, there was, ultimately, disappointment for the Taeguk Warriors who will be left to regret defensive mistakes and missed chances. Ghana took a two goal lead in the first half, but the Taeguk Warriors came roaring back with two goals in the space of three second half minutes from Cho Gue-sung who became the first Korean to score more than once in a World Cup game. More defensive issues helped the Africans retake the lead and, this time, they held onto it despite plenty of pressure from the Reds.

There was a promising start from the Koreans at the Education City Stadium, but Ghana quickly realized that the Asian team struggled to deal with aerial balls even with the presence of key defender Kim Min-jae who passed a late fitness test.

Korea had no less than seven corner kicks in the opening exchanges, but was unable to seriously trouble the opposing goalkeeper. Ghana showed how it was done in the 24th minute as Korea fell behind in a disappointing though not unpredictable manner. This is a team that has long been susceptible to high balls coming into the area and that is what happened. Jordan Ayew swung over a free-kick and the deep lying defense failed to deal with the cross and it was poked home by Mohammed Salisu.

Mohammed Kudus

That it came against the run of play was no consolation and it knocked the wind out of the Taeguk Warriors and Ghana visibly grew in confidence and doubled its lead just eight minutes later. Once again, Korea couldn't deal with the African aerial threat. Once again, the cross from Ayew was a good one, but it was too easy for Mohammed Kudus to head past Kim. It was Ghana's second attempt on goal and the team had scored twice. From being in control, two simple balls into the area had changed the game and Korea looked lost.

Star player Son Heung-min didn't see enough of the ball and even when he did, the white shirts quickly swarmed around the Tottenham Hotspur star. He was growing increasingly frustrated as were the fans at half-time with Korea creating very little and with the players' body language a cause for concern.

Eight minutes into the second half, Korea had its first attempt on target at the entire World Cup as Ghana goalkeeper Lawrence Ati―Zigi palmed away a header by Cho. It was better, but not enough. Until it was. Lee Kang-in had just come off the bench and the midfielder's first act was to rob Ghana of possession and his second was to send over a perfect cross for Cho to head home. Just three minutes later, it was Kim Jin-su who crossed from the same side and Cho climbed high at the far post to head high into the net.

Now it was Ghana's turn to look shocked and deflated while the men in red had grown in stature. Yet it was the Africans who retook the lead after 68 minutes. Yet again there was a defensive lapse. Kudus had too much space in the area to shoot low past Kim. It was a devastating blow.

South Korea's Cho Gue-sung heads the ball to score his side's second goal against Ghana's goalkeeper Lawrence Ati-Zigi during the World Cup group H soccer match between South Korea and Ghana

Korea should have been back level after 76 minutes as the ball fell to Kim Jin-su at the left side with the goal at his mercy. The full-back's shot was not powerful enough and was cleared off the line by Salisu.

That was as close as the 2002 semifinalist came though Kim shot over not long after, Cho came close with a shot and there was desperate pressure. Now only victory against Portugal will do and even that may not be enough.

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