South Korea v Ghana
Ghana stare at the face of elimination from the 2022 World Cup when they face South Korea at the Education City Stadium on Monday. Whilst Ghana succumbed to a heart-breaking 3-2 defeat to Portugal, their Asian counterparts South Korea were held to an unexciting goalless draw by Uruguay.
The Black Stars saw their game against Portugal come alive in the second half with all goals being scored in the last 25 minutes. Cristiano Ronaldo became the first male player to score at five different World Cups after converting from the spot to give Fernando Santos’ men the lead. Joao Felix and Rafael Leao scored on either side of Andre Ayew’s equaliser before Osman Bukari got a consolation goal.
Their result means South Korea have just lost once in their last 10 games and have currently kept three successive clean sheets. Despite putting up a solid defensive performance, Paulo Bento will look to improve his side’s attacking prospects after failing to muster a shot on target against Uruguay.
South Korea is a team that likes to play through the middle on the pitch to create the opportunities for their main attacking threats, Son Heung-Min and Hwang Hee-Chan. Bento was forced to change his formation up for this game to a 4-2-3-1 with main striker Hwang Ui-Jo playing up front supported by 3 behind. With information that Hwang Hee-Chan could make his world cup debut, this formation will surely change back to a 4-4-2 with Son being his wingman.
This will be the 10th time South Korea and Ghana are facing off in all competitions with the last six meetings resulting in three wins apiece for both teams. The Black Stars run out 4-0 victors when both teams and although South Korea failed to score in their first game, goals are still expected. Realistically, anything other than a win won’t be sufficient for South Korea here. They cannot lose this game as it would reduce their qualification chance to near 0% and they must win to force Uruguay’s hand. Expect cards, goals and quality.
Mohammed Salisu from his juvenile days has been known as an aggressive and tough tackling defender. The Southampton defender loves to stay tight against his opponents and ends up fouling once he is dribbled past.
This season, he is averaging 1.3 fouls per 90 for Southampton in the Premier League. In the first game against Portugal, Salisu committed three fouls with one of them leading to a penalty.
South Korea are a swift side and rely a lot on counterattacking football so expect a couple of tactical fouls from Salisu.
Hwang In Beom has had a standout game against Uruguay and has been playing excellently for his club this year. Although lack of bookings, he loves to get stuck into a challenge to try to win the ball, this has resulted in some free kicks going in the way of the opposition. Last game alone against Uruguay, he committed 2 fouls whilst advantage being played for a third. He is averaging just over 2 fouls per game in previous games and will surely try to get stuck in again. Maybe a card will be shown this time.
South Korea are strangers to receiving a card due to their fair play and potentially the Referee’s leniency. Ghana has shown that they have a fierce counterattack and South Korea may not be able to deal with that. In the last 14 games, South Korea have racked up 3 cards once and 2 cards 4 times but in these games they have not been as prone to counter attacks as we have seen from Ghana recently. They may have to use any means necessary to get a win and keep themselves in this group.
Written by an Andy verified content writer
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