Ghana vs Uruguay: Ayews the fall guys, Kudus the only positive
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Ghana 0-2 Uruguay
Ghana’s World Cup dreams ended in the group stage on Friday, as the Black Stars were defeated 2-0 by Uruguay at Al Janoub Stadium.
With South Korea defeating Portugal in the group’s other game, it means both Ghana and Uruguay miss out on the group stage, with scenes of sadness and anger accompanying the final whistle in the Group H concluder.
For Ghana, who only needed a draw to progress, it’s particularly galling, but are there any positives for the Black Stars to take from the evening?
Here are our winners & losers from Ghana’s final group game.
Loser: Andre Ayew
Disastrous outing for Dede, who missed a decisive penalty midway through the first half that could have turned the contest in Ghana’s favour.
The early goal would have given them both momentum and something to hold on to, but Ayew’s failure appeared to deflate the Black Stars.
He was hauled off at half-time, and there must surely be questions about whether we’ve seen the last of him in an international shirt.
Winner: Lawrence Ati-Zigi
He conceded twice, and was arguably at fault for Ghana’s second, but he nonetheless kept Uruguay at bay as they sought to add further goals to their tally.
The inexperienced stopper—only drafted into the first team due to injuries to Jojo Wollacott and Richard Ofori—didn’t let his nation down in Qatar, and made a series of fine stops.
Uruguay took seven shots on target during the course of the contest, but Ati-Zigi largely came out on top—particularly with late saves from Maximiliano Gomez, Edinson Cavani and even Nicolas de la Cruz.
Loser: Jordan Ayew
Outstanding in the victory over South Korea, the same can’t be said for Jordan here, as he delivered a listless display.
He registered just seven passes, lost the ball on multiple occasions, and made negligible defensive contribution.
Like his brother, he was hooked at the interval.
Winner: Mohammed Kudus
Again, Kudus looked like Ghana’s brightest player on the day, and he’s the player from the squad who emerges from this tournament with the biggest boost to his reputation.
It was Kudus who won the early penalty from which Ayew had the chance to open the deadlock, and he took a total of four shots on target during the match, even though his accuracy may have been lacking.
While those around him wilted, Kudus sought to step up for Ghana, and no one in the match completed more dribbles than the Black Stars.
- Getty Images.
Loser: Daniel Amartey and Alidu Seidu
Both made some big contributions to deny Uruguayan goalscoring opportunities, but both, too were guilty of careless tackles in the box.
On another day, both would have conceded penalties that would have cost the Black Stars.
After a VAR check, Amartey was deemed not to have brought down Darwin Nunez in the box, while Uruguay were livid that Seidu’s clumsy late challenge on Cavani wasn’t deemed worthy of a VAR check.
Were Alexander Djiku and Tariq Lamptey, both kicking their heels on the touchline, both inferior options to Amartey and Seidu?