Attacking sensation Mohammed Kudus scored twice for Ghana to emerge on top from a thrill-a-minute encounter with Paulo Bento’s spirited Korea Republic on Monday.
Ghana 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.
Kudus quickly doubled the Africans’ lead, ghosting behind the Korea backline to apply a deft flick to another tremendous Ayew delivery. Cho Gue-sung had Korea Republic’s first attempt on target of the tournament when the striker worked Lawrence Ati-Zigi with a header from six yards.
Cho suddenly had his tail up and in the space of 168 dizzying seconds, the 24-year-old scored twice to pull his team level. He stole in front of Salisu to head home a cross from substitute Lee Kang-in for his first goal. The second was the product of a leap above Gideon Mensah to power Kim Jin-su’s wonderful delivery past the helpless Ati-Zigi.
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 Jin-su saw an effort swiped off the line before Ghana clung on during 10 minutes of time added on to climb above Korea, ahead of Friday’s closing fixtures.
Frustrated Korea Republic coach Bento received a red card following the final whistle after taking issue with Anthony Taylor, the referee.
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