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  • Writer's pictureBruno Asoka

Arithmetic differences eliminate Uruguay despite victory over Black Stars

Twelve years after the infamous handball that ultimately eliminated Ghana at the Quarterfinal stage, Luis Suárez was present once more, this time helping Giorgian de Arrascaeta score twice in a 2-0 victory. However, the outcome was insufficient because a dramatic late South Korea victory in the other game of the group eliminated both teams.

La Celeste entered the game as the only team without a goal in the competition, but they fielded a wildly offensive lineup since they knew they needed to win to advance. The Black Stars delivered a devastating sucker punch to Diego Alonso's team early on with some deft play on the counter. Sergio Rochet was tested by Jordan Ayew, who was only able to parry, allowing the advancing Mohammed Kudus to loft the ball over Rochet before appealing for a penalty.

Unfortunately for Uruguay, VAR helped German referee Daniel Siebert correctly call a penalty, allowing Ghana captain André Ayew the opportunity to exact revenge for the agonizing Quarter-Final loss he missed in 2010 due to suspension. Ayew stumbled to the ball but was unable to give his country its 25th goal as Rochet made a superb save to his left.

After Darwin Nunez chipped Lawrence Ati-Zigi in goal and forced Mohammed Salisu to clear off the line, Uruguay came alive after being awarded a penalty. Soon after, Uruguay took the lead, with "El Diablo" Luis Suárez at the center of the action. The attacker had too much time in the box before cutting inside and shooting. Ati-Zigi sadly failed to maintain his hold, allowing Giorgian de Arrascaeta to head in on his debut. The similar combination gave La Celeste breathing room as Suárez skillfully flicked the ball over Alidu Seidu's head before de Arrascaeta skillfully finished on the volley.

Fans chanted for a repeat of the 3-2 score they had witnessed in the first two games as the Ayew brothers were removed at halftime. Osman Bukari, a substitute, was in a fantastic shooting position within the first minute, but he was caught off guard and dragged wide of the left-hand post. Nunez was brought down by Daniel Amartey at the other end, but Ghana was spared by VAR because the ball struck Nunez's arm during the buildup.

In the end, Uruguay accomplished their job, but they were quite dissatisfied because South Korea advanced above La Celeste on goals scored when Portugal lost late to a Hwang Hee-chan goal.

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