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Ghana 0-2 Uruguay: La Celeste crash out of World Cup despite win
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Luis Suarez in tears as Uruguay crash out of the World Cup
Luis Suarez in tears as Uruguay crash out of the World Cup

Uruguay failed to progress to the World Cup round of 16 despite a 2-0 win over Ghana, who were left to rue Andre Ayew's early penalty miss.

La Celeste looked set to claim second spot in Group H but South Korea's late winner against Portugal saw them advance by virtue of scoring more goals than Diego Alonso's side.

In their first meeting since a controversial World Cup quarter-final in 2010, which saw Asamoah Gyan miss a penalty after Luis Suarez had been sent off for a handball on the goal-line, Ghana once again paid the price for a squandered spot-kick — this time Ayew failing to find the back of the net.

Giorgian de Arrascaeta scored twice soon after that to seal the victory for Uruguay but it was not enough to see them to avoid an early exit along with Ghana, with Suarez in tears on the bench.

Ghana wasted a golden opportunity to take the lead midway through the first half when Ayew's spot-kick was pawed away by Sergio Rochet, who had been penalised for a foul on Mohammed Kudus following a pitch side review by referee Daniel Siebert.

Darwin Nunez was denied by a superb goal-line clearance from Mohammed Salisu soon after, but Uruguay punished Ghana in the 26th minute when De Arrascaeta headed in from two yards after Lawrence Ati-Zigi had failed to adequately deal with Suarez's shot.

The Flamengo forward added a second just six minutes later, firing home a crisp volley from eight yards after Suarez had expertly picked him out.

Uruguay thought they would have a penalty of their own when Sibert was instructed by VAR by review Daniel Amartey's challenge on Nunez, yet the striker was deemed to have handled the ball and the Ghana defender also appeared to have made contact with the ball before bringing the Liverpool man down.

News of South Korea's winner filtered through with more than 10 minutes remaining at Al Janoub Stadium, but Uruguay fell short of finding the third goal that would have seen them advance, with a host of their players furiously remonstrating with Siebert after the full-time whistle as they felt Edinson Cavani should have been awarded a penalty late on.

What does it mean? South Korea send Uruguay and Ghana packing

After a slow start in Group H, Uruguay looked to have saved their best for last to secure a place in the round of 16. South Korea had other ideas, though, as La Celeste's run of reaching the knockout stage for three straight tournaments came to an end.

Ghana, meanwhile, have now failed to feature beyond the group stages since that painful defeat to Uruguay in 2010.

De Arrascaeta joins esteemed company

De Arrascaeta became the third Uruguayan to score two goals in the first half of a World Cup match, after Juan Peregrino Anselmo against Yugoslavia in 1930 and Oscar Miguez against Bolivia in 1950.

History will not be repeating itself, though, given Uruguay won the tournament on both of those occasions.

Ghana's penalty pain

The result could have been so different had Ayew beaten Rochet from 12 yards early on but Ghana are left to stew over more penalty misery on the biggest stage.

Since Opta began detailed collection in 1966, they are the only side to miss two penalties against a single opponent at the World Cup, excluding shootouts.

Key Opta facts

Uruguay scored their first goal at this World Cup with what was their 24th attempt on goal, then added a second goal with their 25th shot.

There have been five penalty saves in this tournament. Since 1966, that is the joint-most in a World Cup along with the 2002 edition - excluding shootouts.

De Arrascaeta has nine goal contributions in his past eight starts for Uruguay.

Suarez set up the second goal, becoming the oldest player to assist a World Cup goal (35 years and 312 days) since Brazil's Cafu in 2006 (36y 20d, also versus Ghana).

What's next?

Uruguay were probably starting to think about a last-16 clash against the winner of Group G, which is likely to be Brazil, but they will return home to lick their wounds after an agonising early exit along with Ghana.


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