A brace from Dominic Adiyiah helped book Ghana a place in the semi-finals of Egypt 2009, despite Korea Republic reducing the deficit on two separate occasions.
Adiyiah set the tone for the match when he forced a low save from Kim Seung-Gyu with 45 seconds on the clock, but while that chance was a half one at best, Korea Republic should have taken the lead with five minutes gone when Kim Young-Gwon missed the target from 12 yards after the Black Satellites failed to clear the ball from a corner.
Three minutes later, Korea Republic took the lead when Samuel Inkoom played a perfectly weighted ball into the box and Adiyiah was on hand to stab the it past Kim Seung-Guy. It was the second quickest goal of Egypt 2009 and the striker’s fifth of the tournament.
With their tails up after scoring, Andre Ayew played in a great ball for Ransford Osei, but the striker headed just wide at the far post. However, the goal-poacher supreme does not miss many and when David Addy found him lurking in the six-yard box, the FC Twente man doubled Ghana’s advantage with an incisive left-footed finish with 28 minutes gone.
The goal was rather harsh on the South Koreans who were enjoying their best spell of the game prior to that moment, but they swiftly found a way back into it when Jeong Dong-Ho put in a cross from the right in between the back four and the goalkeeper and Park Hee-Seong took advantage of the indecision by looping a header into the net.
Osei and Moon Ki-Han traded efforts as the half drew to a close, but Ghana served further notice of their ability to create chances when Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu’s header from Addy’s corner was cleared off the line by Yun Suk-Young.
Obviously spurred on by their half-time team talk from Hong Myung-Bo, the Koreans came out of the blocks quickly and had a great opportunity to equalise in the early stages of the second half. Seo Jung-Jin showed great pace down the right to beat Addy and he fired a shot on goal which Agyei pushed on to his post.
On the hour, Rabiu won the ball in the centre of midfield and Osei missed a good opportunity from 12 yards to increase his side’s advantage. This was a nervous passage of play for the Africans, as Korea Republic dominated possession and they were given a huge fright when Jonathan Mensah almost diverted Cho Young-Cheol’s shot into his own net.
Park Heo-Seong thought he’d levelled matters but flashed a shot just wide of the target as the tension increased, but then Kim Seung-Gyu pulled off a contender for the save of the tournament to deny Osei his second of the match. But then Ghana finally got the goal they craved. Rabiu picked up a loose ball in midfield, slipped it to Adiyiah who powered through and passed it into the net.
Ghana’s supporters celebrated as though they had won the game, but there was a twist in the tale when Yun Suk-Young crossed from deep, Kim Dong-Sub timed his run to perfection and glanced a header into the net with eight minutes to go.
Osei rattled the post in the final minute and despite a grandstand finish, it was not to be for the Koreans who had the vast majority of the ball in the contest. The two teams head for Cairo tomorrow, but while the Africans prepare for a semi-final against Italy or Hungary, the Asians will be going to the airport for the long flight home.
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