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Uruguay Repeats Ghana Defeat but Exits World Cup


Ghana's Fatawu Issahaku and Kamaldeen Sulemana look dejected after being eliminated from the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Qatar, December 2, 2022

Uruguay’s La Celeste repeated history by defeating Ghana’s Black Stars 2-0 in their final Group H match at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

The hearts of African football fans were left shattered Friday after Ghana’s Black Stars failed to secure a spot in the Round of 16 after losing 2-0 to Uruguay in their final Group H match.

Black Stars fans expressed disappointment as they expected the West African side to avenge a 2010 World Cup quarterfinal loss to the South Americans, after striker Luis Suárez stopped an almost certain goal in the dying minutes with a handball, leading to a penalty that was missed by Asamoah Gyan.

In the 21st minute of the Group H clash, Black Stars captain André Ayew attempted to convert a penalty that was saved by La Celeste goalkeeper Sergio Rochet.

Uruguay's goalkeeper Sergio Rochet saves a penalty by Ghana's André Ayew in a Group H clash at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Al Janoub Stadium, Qatar, December 2, 2022
Uruguay's goalkeeper Sergio Rochet saves a penalty by Ghana's André Ayew in a Group H clash at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Al Janoub Stadium, Qatar, December 2, 2022

Rochet’s save gave his team the needed momentum to turn the game around and five minutes later witnessed the opening goal by winger Giorgian De Arrascaeta, who put the ball behind the net after rebounding on an attempt by Suárez blocked by Lawrence Ati-Zigi, the Black Stars goalkeeper.

Uruguay's Giorgian De Arrascaeta scores the opening goal against Ghana at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Al Janoub Stadium, Qatar, December 2, 2022
Uruguay's Giorgian De Arrascaeta scores the opening goal against Ghana at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Al Janoub Stadium, Qatar, December 2, 2022

Ati-Zigi failed another test in the 32nd minute of the game, after De Arrascaeta converted a goal resulting from an assist by Suárez which led to the 28-year-old winger sneaking a low shot past the West African goalkeeper.

Uruguay's Giorgian De Arrascaeta scores his second goal against Ghana at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Al Janoub Stadium, Qatar, December 2, 2022
Uruguay's Giorgian De Arrascaeta scores his second goal against Ghana at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Al Janoub Stadium, Qatar, December 2, 2022

Despite losing 2-0, the West Africans showed determination to get even after their 2010 loss to Uruguay, maintaining a majority 44% ball possession with nine goal attempts, four of which were on target.

The South Americans held a minority 38% ball possession — 18 % of game possession was in contest — attempted at goal 12 times and had six shots on target.

Victory for La Celeste gave the South Americans hope that they would advance to the Round of 16 alongside first-placed Portugal, but that verdict changed after South Korea caused an upset by defeating the European nation 2-1 in their final Group H encounter.

De Arrascaeta, Uruguay’s two-time goal scorer, said the team was disappointed over their early exit from the World Cup despite their victory against Ghana.

"Without doubt, we did everything we could, and we paid dear," said De Arrascaeta speaking to reporters.

"We are sad because we left our all in this game. We scored goals and the outcome didn't depend on us, it left us out," added De Arrascaeta.

South Korea qualified for the Round of 16 in second place despite having the same four points as third placed Uruguay. They managed to score a total of four goals at the global tournament, in comparison to Uruguay’s two goals.

Sports analysts say Uruguay’s exit is historic as it marks the first time in the last four editions of the World Cup that the team failed to advance past the group stages and win at least two matches.

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