FIFA World Cup 2022: South Korea coach red card against Ghana

The African nations delivered a tasty entree ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo’s return to the World Cup stage on Tuesday morning.

Cameroon played out a six-goal thriller with Serbia before Ghana stunned South Korea in a match that delivered five more shots into the back of the net.

It wasn’t as high-scoring in Brazil’s clash with Switzerland, but the South Americans booked progression to the knockout stage with a 1-0 victory.

Ronaldo’s Portugal can join them with a win against Uruguay at 6am.

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4.20am — ‘Extraordinary’: Brazil look untouchable

Switzerland almost got there. For 83 minutes they denied Brazil, before the World Cup favourite finally found a way.

It was Casemiro who broke the deadlock to put Brazil in front, finishing some neat inter-play with a devastating strike.

It continued the Samba kings recent habit of pouncing late — nine of their past 10 goals at World Cups have come in the second half.

Brazil is now in an untouchable position atop Group G with six points after an earlier win against Serbia.

As the SBS commentary team noted, the most “extraordinary” aspect of their tournament to date has been their defence.

The South Americans have not faced a single shot on target in 180 minutes of football as they deny opponents possession.

Vinicius Junior thought he had the opening goal before being denied for offside.

The Real Madrid winger had finished calmly past the keeper in the 66th minute but saw his goal disallowed by VAR because teammate Richarlison had come from an offside position to impact a defender in the lead-up to the goal.

2am — Moment of madness after crazy 3-2 defeat

South Korea and Ghana played out one of the World Cup’s most enthralling games so far, with the momentum swinging wildly between them before the African nation eventually held on for a 3-2 win.

There was a moment of madness at the full-time whistle as South Korea’s coach, Paolo Bento, raged at the referee, who’d ruled there was insufficient time for one final corner to be taken.

The referee’s decision was perfectly defensible – 11 of the 10 allotted added minutes had already passed at that point – and Bento earned himself a red card for his blow-up, meaning he will be banned from the sideline for his team’s must-win match against Portugal.

There was little hint of the drama to come early in the first half, with South Korea firmly in control of the match – until it wasn’t.

A quality free kick from Ghana’s Jordan Ayew in the 24th minute resulted in a scramble inside the six-yard box, from which defender Mohammed Salisu nudged the ball home.

Ghana’s fans endured a nervous few seconds as the goal was checked, because Andre Ayew had accidentally handled the ball in the build-up. The referees decided it was unwitting and the goal stood.

“Personally, I honestly think that goal should stand, I really do,” one of the commentators remarked. The officials agreed.

It was Ghana’s only shot of the match at that point. South Korea had enjoyed two-thirds of possession, and seven corners to nil. Against the run of play, it fell behind.

In the 34th minute, Ghana offered its second shot of the match – and scored again. Once again it was Jordan Ayew providing a masterful ball in. This time, Mohammed Kudus nodded it on with his head to double his team’s lead.

All of a sudden, the game had been flipped entirely on its head. Having spent the first 20 minutes or so very much clinging on, Ghana went into halftime full of confidence.

South Korea started the second period by trying to work its way back into the match. In the 53rd minute, Cho Gue-sung retrieved a cross that had floated behind him to send an excellent header towards goal, forcing a save from keeper Lawrence Ati-Zigi.

The team’s efforts paid off five minutes after that, as a curling left-footed cross from Lee Kang-in again found Cho, who buried his header in the net this time. Lee had only come on as a substitute a short time before that.

And then, incredibly, the South Koreans were level. In the 61st minute, no more than three minutes after Cho’s first goal, Kim Jun-su’s cross from right on the byline floated across the six-yard box, and Cho was there again to score his second.

All the momentum was with South Korea. Ghana looked shellshocked. And yet, this crazy game had another twist right around the corner.

In the 68th minute, a low cross into the box from Ghana’s left wing yielded an air-swipe from Inaki Williams – but the ball proceeded to trickle to Kudus, who curled a controlled finish past the keeper to put his side back in front.

South Korea spent the whopping 10 minutes of stoppage time piling constant pressure on Ghana’s goal, sending in a series of excellent crosses.

Cho came closest in the 95th minute, firing a shot at the top corner from the left of the box and forcing a good save at the near post.

It wasn’t enough. Ghana defended stubbornly, and sealed an entertaining win.

“The Korean fans cannot believe what they’ve witnessed,” SBS’s anchor remarked in the immediate aftermath.

Nor could anyone else.

10.30pm — ‘Obscene’ act flips World Cup on its head

Cameroon’s chances against Serbia were looking bleak after falling 3-1 down but a perfectly timed run has flipped the game on its head as the Africans bounced back to make it 3-all with more than 20 minutes remaining.

However, neither team could add to the score and even though both sides will be alive into the final match day, they will need a win and hope results go their way.

The score opened through Cameroon’s Jean-Charles Castelletto, who was deemed onside after a lunge at a corner to take a lead in the 29th minute.

But Serbia replied with injury time goals through Strahinja Pavlovic and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, becoming the first team to score two goals in the first half injury time since 1966.

Aleksandar Mitrovic looked to have put the game beyond doubt in the 53rd minute when he extended the lead to 3-1 and Cameroon looked out of ideas.

But in the blink of an eye, the Africans have turned the game around, when Vincent Aboubakar, who had been subbed on in the 55th minute, latched onto a lofted pass before chipping Serbia’s goalkeeper with a deft shot.

The flag did go up on the field but the replays showed Aboubakar was onside, having timed his run absolutely perfectly as VAR overturned the offside call.

Irish reporter Ciaran Bradley tweeted: “That Aboubakar goal has such a bang of ‘f**k it, I’m offside anyway’.”

Nottingham Forest writer Callum Castel posted: “I just can’t get over the fact that Aboubakar did the classic fifa ‘I’m definitely offside so I’ll just try an obscene shot’ and got away with it.”

In the 66th minute, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting locked the score up.

He too looked to be offside but replays showed a Serbian defender kept the Cameroonians onside.

The match was all-important for both sides after suffering losses in their opening matches, Serbia losing 2-0 to Brazil and Cameroon 1-0 to Switzerland.

The thrilling match leaves the door ajar for both teams as they will be alive in the final group game but both will be ruing the draw as the three points would have been more than valuable as both Serbia and Cameroon will need a win on the final match day.

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