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Tradition may favour Ghana in must-win tie with Korea



Doha, State of Qatar

If tradition prevails, Ghana Black Stars are favoured to come out with at least a point in their today’s encounter with Korea Republic.

The match comes up this afternoon at the Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan in Doha. Korea have never won their second match at the World Cup. There are 10 instance of such.

They lost six times and drew four times. But tradition is never reliable in permutation of high staked encounters.

Ghana on the other hand, have never lost their second group match at a FIFA World Cup.

In the three past editions they featured, they won one and drew two.  

Although they lost their to Portugal, they can take confidence from being the only one of the five African teams in Qatar to score in their opening fixture.


Traditions are only meant for statistical puposes. They are sometimes broken. Ghana will therfore have to do more than their casual approach displayed in their opening game against Portugal.

The Black Stars will have to consider the fact that Korea Repubic have scored two goals in each of their previous three FIFA World Cup matches against African teams.

While Korea Republic have kept a clean sheet in two successive FIFA World Cup matches for the first time, Ghana have not kept a clean sheet in any of their last eight FIFA World Cup matches.

So, while statistics are important, they are not perfectly reliable as pedigree, efforts and determination and a sting of luck determine match outcomes.

Beaten 3-2 by Portugal in their opening Group H encounter, Ghana should attempt to bounce back. as they take on Korea Republic at the same venue where the Asian side kicked off their FIFA World Cup 2022 campaign with a goalless draw against Uruguay. This is the first competitive meeting between the two teams.


In ten previous FIFA World Cup participations, Korea Republic have faced African opponents three times.

That included Nigeria in 2010. They won one, drew one and lost one. They will look to build on their clean sheet from their opening game at this year’s tournament.

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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