Korea scored twice in three minutes to level the score 2-2 in the second half after trailing by two goals at the halftime break. But a second goal from Mohammed Kudus seven minutes later turned out to be a winner for the African side.
With the win, Ghana jumped to second in the group standings with three points behind Portugal, who face Uruguay later in the day, on goal difference, while Korea dropped down to bottom with one point, but are still in contention for the knockout stage.
After another brilliant game, it ends with Ghana taking the three points 👏@adidasfootball | #FIFAWorldCup
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) 1669647999000
Mohammed Salisu gave Ghana the lead in the 24th minute in what was their first attempt on goal, before Kudus doubled the lead 10 minutes later in the 34th minute with a glancing header. Korea then came out all guns blazing in the second half, and Cho Gue-sung’s two brilliant headers (58th minute & 61st minute) levelled the score for the Asian side. But Kudus restored the lead for Ghana in the 68th minute with a cool low strike.
Ghana saw off early Korean pressure to go 2-0 ahead. Both goals were at the end of superb deliveries from Jordan Ayew, restored to the starting line-up as Ghana fielded a much more offensive line-up than against Portugal.
Ayew’s perfectly-weighted free kick caused confusion in the Korean defence and Salisu turned sharply to snap up the opener as the ball bobbled around. There was a lengthy wait for VAR to check the validity of the goal before English referee Anthony Taylor confirmed it.
Ayew again provided a wicked delivery, with the right height and pace, for Kudus to apply a glancing touch with his head and double the Black Stars’ lead.
Early second-half changes breathed new life into Korea’s attack and Lee kang-in had barely been on the field for a minute when he helped dispossess Tariq Lamptey and fired in a cross that Cho attacked with pace, leaving Salisu watching as he got in front of his marker to power home a 58th-minute header.
The 24-year-old centre forward was even more determined as a chip from Kim Jin-su caught the out-of-position goalkeeper Lawrence Ati-Zigi scrambling and Cho climbed above the centre backs to score a dramatic equaliser, right in front of a bank of screaming Korean supporters.
Ghana, who would have been eliminated from the World Cup had they lost, looked vulnerable but were handed a surprise lifeline by sloppy Korean defending in the 68th minute.
Gideon Mensah was allowed to get a cross in from the left, which Inaki Williams missed but the ball fell for Kufus to tuck home with his left foot – all while the Korean backline failed to attack the ball.
The fortuitous turn for the Black Stars was followed by Ati-Zigi making a fine save from Lee’s free kick and watching as the ball was cleared off the line from Kim Jin-su’s scuffed shot.
Ghana continued to live dangerously through 10 minutes of added time as Korea besieged their goal, but were unable to equalise again.
(With inputs from agencies)