Uruguay out of World Cup despite victory over Ghana

Uruguay eliminated in group stage even with a 2-0 win and a brace by Giorgian de Arrascaeta.

uguay's Giorgian de Arrascaeta celebrates
Uruguay's Giorgian de Arrascaeta celebrates scoring their second goal [John Sibley/Reuters]

Giorgian de Arrascaeta scored twice as Uruguay beat Ghana 2-0 on Friday, but it was not enough to keep them in the World Cup after South Korea beat Portugal in the group’s other game.

Uruguay’s Luis Suarez had infamously clawed the ball off the line in extra time at the 2010 World Cup to stop Ghana from scoring a last-gasp winner. Ghana missed the subsequent spot kick and penalty shootout.

This time, Andre Ayew missed from the spot with a tame 21st minute penalty that was easily saved by Uruguayan keeper Sergio Rochet. The penalty was awarded after Mohammed Kudus, Ghana’s best player during the match, was tripped by Rochet.

Andre Ayew
Andre Ayew of Ghana takes a penalty saved by Sergio Rochet [Photo by [Clive Mason/Getty Images]

Suarez, who had been booed by Ghana fans during the warm-up, claimed two assists shortly after. De Arrascaeta headed the ball over the line from close range after a shot from Suarez in the 26th minute and doubled Portugal’s lead with a superb volley six minutes later.

De Arrascaeta
Giorgian de Arrascaeta scores Uruguay’s second goal [Ryan Pierse/Getty Images]

Uruguay later had a penalty claim turned down by VAR after Darwin Nunez tangled with Daniel Amartey in the box. La Celeste continued to dominate the game with Facundo Pellistri missing a good chance in the 65th minute.

In the 79th, a loose ball was picked up by Antoine Semenyo, who narrowly missed the Uruguay goal from close range as Ghana began to threaten.

In the final stages, news of South Korea’s lead had reached Uruguay’s bench, and Suarez, who had been taken off, was seen in tears.

Uruguay knew they needed goals to overturn the goal deficit, and Edinson Cavani had a strong penalty claim waved away after he clashed with Alidu Seidu.

Uruguay fans after the match [Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters]

As the final whistle blew, both teams looked deflated as they realised that South Korea had beaten Portugal 2-1 and both of those teams would progress to the elimination rounds over Uruguay on goal difference.

Uruguayan players surrounded the German referee Daniel Sibert, protesting about the penalty appeals that had been turned down.

Portugal topped the group with seven points, followed by South Korea and Uruguay with four and Ghana with three.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies