Georgian De Arrascaeta scored twice for Uruguay to beat Ghana 2-0, but it wasn’t enough to send them to the last 16.
The midfielder opened the scoring after 26 minutes with a close-range header as he followed up Luis Suarez’s saved effort, before he fired a second beyond Lawrence Ati-Zigi six minutes later to double Uruguay’s lead.
Ghana were awarded a penalty in the 19th minute after Sergio Rochet spilled a Jordan Ayew shot into the path of Mohammed Kudus, who he brought down as Kudus followed up the rebound.
After a quick VAR check to investigate whether Kudus was offside or not, which it was deemed he wasn’t, referee Daniel Siebert was sent to the monitor to check the foul, and decided to award the spot kick.
Andre Ayew stepped up but had his weak effort saved, as Rochet quickly got down to his left to keep the scores level.
Darwin Nunez’s first real involvement in the game was when De Arrascaeta slotted him in behind the Ghana defence, before he chipped Ati-Zigi, only for Southampton’s Mohammed Salisi to rush back and sweep away the ball as it bounced toward the empty net.
Minutes later Uruguay broke the deadlock – with their first goal of the tournament – through De Arrascaeta in his first start in Qatar.
Suarez was inevitably involved in the goal as it was he who weaved his way into the Ghana penalty box and fired a low shot towards Ati-Zigi’s goal, but he could only push it out into the path of De Arrascaeta who headed the rebound into the empty net from close range.
Six minutes later, Suarez was involved again as he set up De Arrascaeta spectacularly for the winger to double Uruguay’s lead with his second goal of the game.
As the match entered the final ten minutes Uruguay thought they had done enough to reach the knockouts, only for South Korea to score a late winner against group winners Portugal to clinch second spot.
The result means Uruguay and Ghana are both eliminated from the World Cup, as Portugal and South Korea progress.
TALKING POINT – KARMA COMES BACK TO BITE SUAREZ
Luis Suarez enjoyed a blistering first half and showed glimpses of his Liverpool glory days as he played his part in both goals that saw Uruguay race to a 2-0 lead. He did excellently to force a tricky save out of Lawrence Ati-Zigi that led to the goal, and produced a piece of quality to put the ball on a plate for De Arrascaeta to double the lead.
He was hauled off in the 66th minute, presumably to conserve energy, as Uruguay were heading through at that stage. South Korea notched a winner late on against Portugal in the group’s either game to upset the odds and end a tearful Suarez’s World Cup Career in the cruellest of ways, much like the striker had against Ghana in 2010 after his deliberate handball on the line to deny a goal in the 120th minute.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH – GEORGIAN DE ARRASCAETA (URUGUAY)
Georgian De Arrascaeta burst onto the World Cup scene in his first start at the tournament with two brilliant first-half goals. He showed great striker’s instinct to follow up Suarez’s effort and nod home the first, before producing a fierce but composed finish to stretch his country’s lead.
Uruguay didn’t do enough, but De Arrascaeta can leave Qatar with his head held high.
GHANA: Ati-Zigi 6, Seidu 7, Amartey 7, Salisu 7, Baba 6, Samed 6, Partey 7, Kudas 7, A. Ayew 5, J, Ayew 6, Williams 6
Subs: Issahku N/A, Kyereh 6, Bukari 6, Sulemana 6, Semenyo
URUGUAY: Rochet 8, Varela 7, Gimenez 7, Coates 7, Olivera 7, Bentancur 7, Valverde 7, Arrascaeta 9, Nunez 6, Pellistri 6, Suarez 8
Subs: Vecino 7, De la Cruz 6, Gomez 6, Cavani 6, Canobbio 6
18’ – PENALTY TO GHANA! Kudus was onside the referee thinks Kudus was fouled as he followed up the rebound, and points to the spot!
20’ – PENALTY MISSED! It was a really soft penalty from Andre Ayew and Rochet gets down to his left to save it!
26’ – GOAL! GHANA 0-1 URUGUAY (DE ARRASCAETA) – Uruguay have the opener! Suarez drives into the box and shifts on to his right foot to get a low-driven shot away which is kept out by Ati-Zigi, but only into the path of De Arrascaeta who nods the loose ball into an empty net.
32’ – GOAL! GHANA 0-2 URUGUAY (DE ARRASCAETA) – De Arrascaeta grabs his second with a thunderous finish! Once more Suarez is involved in the goal and produces a brilliant flick over the top of the Ghana defence for De Arrascaeta to hammer home.
57’ – PENALTY SHOUT FOR URUGUAY! The referee is over at the monitor! Amartey brings down Nunez very clumsily and it’s a certain penalty, but Nunez looks to have made contact with the ball with his hand in the build-up.
90’+3 – CAVANI GOES DOWN IN THE BOX! And Uruguay want a penalty! Cavani is clipped as he runs onto a ball but it looks soft, and there won’t be a VAR check. Uruguay are furious with the decision!