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Bittersweet victory as Uruguay win but journey ends

Last updated on: December 02, 2022 23:28 IST

Sergio Rochet of Uruguay makes a save on a penalty by Andre Ayew of Ghana during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group H match between Ghana and Uruguay

IMAGE: Uruguay's Sergio Rochet makes a save on a penalty by Ghana's Andre Ayew during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group H match between Ghana and Uruguay. Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Giorgian de Arrascaeta scored twice in six minutes to give Uruguay a 2-0 win over Ghana on Friday but it was not enough to prevent them from crashing out of the World Cup on goals scored.

It was the first time in two decades that la Celeste have failed to reach the knockout stage.

Unable to score in their first two matches, Uruguay needed a win to advance from Group H and for already-qualified Portugal to avoid defeat by South Korea. But the Asian side's shock 2-1 win - the second goal coming in stoppage time - ensured they went through by virtue of having scored two more goals.


With South Korea tied with Portugal late in their match and Uruguay two goals up, the South American side had one foot in the last 16 before the pendulum swung in the direction of South Korea, who ahead in the table on goals scored.

Mohammed Kudus of Ghana is brought down by Sergio Rochet of Uruguay in the box

IMAGE: Ghana's Mohammed Kudus is brought down in the box by Uruguay's Sergio Rochet. Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Uruguay battled desperately for the decisive goals, with Federico Valverde going close with a volley from outside the area and Maxi Gomex having his shot saved by keeper Lawrence Ati-Zigi two minutes from time.

Uruguay went on the attack right from the start of the match and finally broke the deadlock at the 26-minute mark when Darwin Nunez's cross from the right was missed by two defenders and found Luis Suarez, whose low shot was spilt by the keeper for De Arrascaeta to head home from close range.

Uruguay struck again six minutes later when Nunez flicked the ball on to Suarez, who knocked it on to De Arrascaeta to volley under the keeper.

The goals came just minutes after Ghana were awarded a penalty on in their first attack of the match, after a shot from Jordon Ayew was shunted by keeper Sergio Rochet, who then pulled down the onrushing Mohammed Kudus.

Jordan Ayew of Ghana controls the ball against Guillermo Varela (C) and Sebastian Coates of Uruguay

IMAGE: Ghana's Jordan Ayew controls the ball against Uruguay's Guillermo Varela (C) and Sebastian Coates. Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Andre Ayew fired tamely at Rochet, giving Uruguay the impetus to double down on their attack.

Uruguay lacked the same kind of punch when they returned from the interval, however, and they failed to further break down Ghana and boost their goal difference, allowing South Korea to advance.

Giorgian de Arrascaeta of Uruguay scores the team's second goal

IMAGE: Uruguay's Giorgian de Arrascaeta scores the team's second goal. Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Ghana's Seidu Alidu in action with Uruguay's Giorgian de Arrascaeta

IMAGE: Ghana's Seidu Alidu in action with Uruguay's Giorgian de Arrascaeta. Photograph: Bernadett Szabo/Reuters
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