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Revenge Not on Otto Addo’s Mind as Ghana Beat Korea to Face Uruguay
Ajax Amsterdam forward, Mohammed Kudus scored twice as Ghana defeated Korea Republic 3-2 in another thrilling encounter by an African team at the ongoing World Cup here in Qatar yesterday night.
The victory revived Black Stars chances of making it to the knockout stage despite losing their opening game to Portugal. Ghana temporarily moved to second spot on three points ahead of the group’s second late night fixture between Uruguay and Portugal.
The Black Stars appeared in line for a Group H cruise when they led 2-0 at half-time. The opening 24 minutes were contested almost exclusively in the Korean half, but when Jordan Ayew sent over a free-kick from the left, the ball dropped for Mohammed Salisu to force home from close range.
Ghana demonstrated terrific mettle to respond. Mensah flew down the left to cross along the floor. Inaki Williams missed his kick – but Kudus was on hand to clinically restore the advantage.
Ati-Zigi clawed out Lee’s dipping free-kick and Kim Jinsu saw an effort swiped off the line before Ghana clung on during 10 minutes of time added on to climb above their Asian rivals ahead of Friday’s closing fixtures against Uruguay in what many here have termed a grudge match for the Ghanaians.
But in what appeared a tongue-in-cheek talk, Black Stars Coach, Otto Addo, dismissed any insinuation that his wards are driven by the spirit to avenge Luis Suarez’s handling of ball to deny Ghana a semi final berth at South Africa 2010 World Cup. The winner of the clash between Ghana and Uruguay will take one of the tickets from Group H to the Last 16.
Speaking at the post match conference yesterday, Addo stressed: “It will be very difficult but I am confident to know that we can win this game,” said Addo after his men claimed a thrilling 3-2 decision over South Korea. “I’m not a guy that thinks much of revenge.
“It was really, really long time ago that this incident happened and I am a strong believer if you don’t seek too much revenge on these kind of things sometimes you get the blessings.”
A long time ago perhaps but still not long enough for many Ghanaians to forget the image of Suarez using his hands to clear away Dominic Adiyiah’s header and what surely would have been the extra-time winner.
Suarez was given a red card for the foul but that would not be the end of the heartbreak for Ghana as Asamoah Gyan missed the resulting penalty and the Black Stars eventually suffered a crushing 4-2 loss in the penalty shootout.
Addo pointed out that it is not only his team and approach that will be different this time, but that it will be a completely different Uruguay side as well.
One thing that hasn’t changed is Ghana’s attacking philosophy and Addo will, as always, rely on an explosive offence that has generated five goals in two games.
“It is a different approach, a different team,” said Addo. “They have very good strikers, lots of experience and they are a very compact, very good team.
“It will be very difficult just like every match.
“We said before the tournament started every game will be on edge, and we have to be at our best to beat them.”
Permutations on How They Will Stand
As the group phase matches of the World Cup tournament hit the final bend, the likely teams that will qualify are taking shapes as many others will have to dip into the last matches to know their fate. France is the f irst team to progress, while Qatar and Canada have exited the tournament irrespective of their results from last matches.
Ecuador v Senegal (4pm)
Netherlands v Qatar (4pm)
Netherlands needs to win or draw to qualify. They will still qualify if they lose, provided Ecuador beat Senegal.
Ecuador needs to win or draw to qualify. They remain in contention to qualify if they lose and Qatar beat Netherlands.
Senegal needs to win to qualify but remain in contention if they draw and Qatar beat Netherlands.
Qatar is eliminated.
Wales v England (8pm)
Iran v USA (8pm)
England will qualify with a win or draw. Depending on goal difference, the Three Lions could also make it through in defeat.
Wales must win to have any chance of progressing.
IR Iran are guaranteed to progress if they beat USA.
A draw will also take the Iranians through provided Wales do not beat England (in which case goal difference will come into play).
For USA, it’s simple: win and they are through. Lose or draw and they will be heading home.
Saudi Arabia v Mexico (8pm)
Poland v Argentina (8pm)
Poland will be through with a win or a draw, but would be knocked out by a defeat coupled with a Saudi Arabia victory. If Poland lose and Saudi Arabia draw, the two teams will have to be separated by goal difference. If Poland lose and Mexico win, their fate will also be decided on goal difference.
Argentina must win to be sure of progressing, while a draw would be enough if Mexico and Saudi Arabia also draw. However, a draw coupled with a Saudi Arabia victory would see La Albiceleste knocked out, and a draw coupled with a Mexico win takes the group to goal difference. Argentina are out if they lose.
Saudi Arabia will reach the Round of 16 if they win. A draw would be enough if Poland defeat Argentina, but if both matches are tied, they will go out. Should Argentina defeat Poland and Saudi Arabia draw, progress will be decided on goal difference between the European and Middle East sides. Defeat would see them knocked out.
Mexico must win to have any chance of staying in the competition. They will be sure to go through if Poland win. If they win and Argentina and Poland draw, it will come down to goal difference with Argentina. Should Argentina win, goal difference will be required to separate Mexico and Poland.
Tunisia v France (4pm)
Australia v Denmark (4pm)
France is already qualified and will top the group unless they lose to Tunisia and Australia beat Denmark, which would leave them tied on six points with the Socceroos.
Victory will see Australia qualify, while a draw would be enough unless Tunisia beat France, which would see the North African side go through on goal difference.
Denmark must win against Australia and, if they do so, will be certain to qualify unless Tunisia beat France, which would leave them tied on four points with the Carthage Eagles. Tunisia must beat France and hope Denmark avoid defeat by Australia to be in contention to qualify.
Costa Rica v Germany (8pm)
Japan v Spain (8pm)
Spain will qualify for the Round of 16 with a win or a draw. Defeat to Japan will leave them relying on their currently superior goal difference to progress, unless Costa Rica beat Germany, in which case Luis Enrique’s side will be out.
Japan can go through with victory against Spain, while a draw, coupled with deadlock in the Costa Rica v Germany clash, will ensure they progress. They will go out if they are beaten by Spain, or if the match ends in a draw and Costa Rica triumph against Germany. Goal difference will be required to decide their fate if they draw and Germany are victorious.
Costa Rica can reach the last 16 by defeating Germany. A draw for Luis Fernando Suarez’s side would also guarantee a spot in the next phase if Spain overcome Japan, but if the current group leaders are beaten then goal difference comes into play. A draw in both games or a defeat for Costa Rica puts them out.
Germany must pick up three points to stay in contention. Victory over Costa Rica coupled with a win for Spain against Japan will see them qualify. A draw between Luis Enrique’s side and the Samurai Blue, or a win for Japan, would take the equation to goal difference. All other results would see Hansi Flick’s men out of the competition.
Canada v Morocco (4pm)
Croatia v Belgium (4pm)
Croatia is through if they win or draw. Defeat would leave them needing eliminated Canada to overcome Morocco, in which case goal difference would be required to separate Zlatko Dalic’s side from the Atlas Lions.
Morocco is through if they win or draw. Defeat would leave them needing Belgium to overcome Croatia, in which case goal difference would be required to determine if they or the 2018 runners-up progress to the last 16.
Belgium will qualify for the Round of 16 with victory over Croatia. Defeat will see them knocked out. A draw will only be enough if Morocco are beaten by Canada, with goal difference then set to determine where Roberto Martinez’s side and Walid Regragui’s outfit finish in Group F.
Canada is already eliminated after losing their opening two fixtures.
*Group G and H to come after their second round matches
The second round of group matches here at Qatar 2022 World Cup are gradually coming to an end and, in some sections, the fight for spots in the knockout stage is simply too close to call.
So tight are a few of the groups, in fact, that many are already asking: what happens if two or more last-16 hopefuls finish level on points?
According to FIFA rules, if two or more teams in the same group are equal on points after the completion of the group stage, the following criteria, in the order below, shall be applied to determine the ranking:
• STEP 1:
(a) Greatest number of points obtained in all group matches;
(b) Superior goal difference in all group matches;
(c) Greatest number of goals scored in all group matches.
• STEP 2:
If two or more teams in the same group are equal on the basis of the above three criteria, their rankings will be determined as follows:
(d) Greatest number of points obtained in the group matches between the teams concerned;
(e) Superior goal difference resulting from the group matches between the teams concerned;
(f) Greatest number of goals scored in all group matches between the teams concerned;
(g) Highest team conduct score relating to the number of yellow and red cards obtained;
(h) Drawing of lots by FIFA.