South Korea face spirited Black Stars test

South Korea face spirited Black Stars test
Ghana national team head coach Otto Addo (L) and player Daniel Amartey during a press conference at the Qatar National Convention Center (QNCC) in Doha, Qatar, 27 November 2022. EPA/ABIR SULTAN

by Staff Reporter

Sunday Nov 27, 2022. 16:19

The Education City Stadium will once again take centre stage at the latest round of 2022 World Cup fixtures, as South Korea and Ghana prepare to do battle in an exciting Group F encounter on Monday afternoon.

Kick-off is at 3pm (SA, GMT +2)

South Korea and Ghana will face each other for the first time since 2014, where the Black Stars recorded a 4-0 win in an International Friendly. The African nation took to the pitch with a star studded outfit, with the likes of Sulley Muntari, Kevin-Prince Boateng and Asamoah Gyan shining on the day.

Ghana got their World Cup campaign off with a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Portugal, a game that produced a number of talking points. With the score tied at 0-0 at half-time, Portugal were awarded a penalty just after the hour mark, a decision that did not sit well with coach Otto Addo.

The Black Stars managed to get back into the game with an equaliser some eight minutes later as Andre Ayew capped off a swift counter attacking move. However, goals from Joao Felix and Rafael Leao inflicted damage on Ghana’s chances of getting a result in the tie, despite Osman Bukari netting in the dying stages of the game.

Speaking ahead of the South Korea tie, Addo spoke of Ghana’s prospects of getting out of the group stage, given the ‘pressure’ both teams find themselves in.

“First of all, surely, we have a chance,” Addo said at the pre-match presser.

“Especially because they played a draw so if we win against South Korea and Portugal win hopefully against Uruguay, then we will be second spot, the chance is still big.

“And surely it will be very, very tough to beat South Korea because they are good. But now we have to win.

“We are under pressure but they are too.”

As for South Korea, Paulo Bento’s side kicked-off their World Cup bid with a 0-0 draw against Uruguay earlier this week.

In what was a tight-affair for much of the 90 minutes, the South Americans held the slight edge over their Asian counterparts but failed to make the most of their chances in the game. Having the bulk of the ball possession statistics, Uruguay also created more attempts at goal.

South Korea faced African nations on three occasions at the World Cup finals, namely Togo, Nigeria and Algeria. Korea beat Togo 2-1 in 2006, drawing 2-2 with Nigeria in 2010 while losing 4-2 to Algeria at the 2014 showpiece.

Also, the Asian nation also failed to score in three of their last five World Cup matches, however, Bento spoke of his side’s fearlessness going into the game against Ghana.

“We are a good team,” Bento said in a pre-match press conference.

“We are not afraid of any side. We have a brave team.”

As for some team news, South Korea talisman Son Heung-man is expected to wear a face mask against the Black Stars, as he continues to nurse an awkward fractured eye socket.

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