12 years after Uruguay knocked Ghana out of the World Cup in controversial fashion, the West African team is out for revenge, despite Ghana’s coach Otto Addo insisting that won’t be a motivator. In 2010, in the only meeting between these two sides, Ghana were denied a goal by a Luis Suárez handball. The resulting Ghanaian penalty was saved — much to the red-carded Suárez’s obvious enjoyment — and Uruguay went on to eliminate Ghana on spot-kicks. Ghana came into the tournament as the lowest-ranked team at the Finals, in 61st place in the FIFA list. Ghana pressed Portugal hard in the opening match, only succumbing 3-2 and Inaki Williams came close to embarrassing Portuguese goalkeeper, Diogo Costa, late on. It was the reverse scoreline, as Ghana beat South Korea 3-2 on Matchday 2, despite squandering a 2-0 lead. Uruguay’s turgid opener against South Korea failed to produce a goal and resulted in only one shot on target. La Celeste also drew a blank against Portugal, suffering a 2-0 loss.
Having opted for four at the back against South Korea, Uruguayan manager, Diego Alonso switched to a 3-5-2 formation in their defeat against Portugal. Ghana also changed their system from a 4-2-3-1 on Matchday 1 to a 5-3-2 set-up against South Korea. A win for either team would book their place in the last 16. Ghana would also reach the knockout phase with a draw unless South Korea beat Portugal by a substantial margin.