Qatar World Cup 2022

Uruguay needs a win. Ghana will want one – to qualify and to make up for the record.

Who: Uruguay v Ghana, group H

Where: Al Janoub Stadium

When: Friday, December 2, 6:00 PM (3:00 PM GMT)

FIFA Ranking: Uruguay (14), Ghana (61)

It’s been 12 years since a fresh-faced Luis Suarez clawed a lightweight Jabulani ball off the line to deny Ghana a last-minute winner in the quarter-final of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Suarez was sent off and Ghana were awarded a penalty in the 120th minute, which Asamoah Gyan missed. Uruguay would go on to win the ensuing penalty shootout and break Ghanaian hearts in one of the cruelest exits in World Cup history.

Suarez
Suarez uses his hands to stop a Ghanaian goal at the 2010 World Cup [Action Images/Carl Recine]

This time, La Celeste and the Black Stars will meet in a group stage match, but again qualifying for the next round for both teams will depend on the outcome of the match.

Ghana went into the game with three points, after suffering a 3-2 defeat to star-studded Portugal on the opening day, but bounced back to beat South Korea by the same scoreline in a thrilling end-to-end second game .

Mohammed Kudus From Ghana Celebrates His Third Goal
Mohammed Kudus from Ghana celebrates his third goal against South Korea [Molly Darlington/Reuters]

A win would guarantee Ghana a place in the round of 16, but a draw could suffice unless South Korea beat Portugal by two or more goals in their final group game.

Uruguay are in a worse position as they go into the match with a lone point after their goalless draw against South Korea. Uruguay lost their second game 2-0 against Portugal, meaning they have not scored yet in this tournament.

Nunez
Darwin Núñez of Liverpool FC has yet to score at the tournament [Petr David Josek/AP Photo]

Scoring will be essential in their clash with Ghana as they need to win if they are to have any chance of qualifying. With Edison Cavani, Darwin Núñez and Luis Suarez all available, Uruguay should be able to end this goal drought.

Interestingly, like Ghana, Uruguay hopes South Korea doesn’t do too well against Portugal. If La Celeste beat Ghana, they can qualify for the next round if South Korea lose their last match or draw. If both Uruguay and South Korea win, goal difference, goals scored or fair play could determine who moves from Group H to Portugal in the round of 16.

While backroom experts follow these equations, the players themselves will try to keep it simple: all they can do is score and win.