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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

World Cup 2022: Mohammed Kudus tipped for bright future by Ghana stars

Mohammed Kudus celebrates a goal for Ghana
Mohammed Kudus is the first Ghana player to score two goals in a World Cup finals match and has seven goals in 20 caps
Host nation: Qatar Dates: 20 November-18 December Coverage: Live on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC World Service, BBC Sounds and the BBC Sport website and app. Day-by-day TV listingsFull coverage details

Andre Ayew said the whole world will know about Mohammed Kudus as the Ghana captain praised the midfielder’s starring display in Monday’s win over South Korea at the World Cup in Qatar.

The 22-year-old, who has impressed for Ajax in the Champions League this season, scored two goals to help the West Africans to a 3-2 win on Monday which boosted their hopes of progressing from Group H.

“He has a bright future in front of him,” Black Stars captain Andre Ayew said.

“We know this, I know this, Ghana knows it now, the world is going to know it. You’ll see, more is coming from my boy.”

Jordan Ayew – Andre’s younger brother – provided the cross for Kudus’ first-half header which gave Ghana a 2-0 lead.

“Hopefully he can keep on shining because he has a really bright future,” said the 31-year-old.

South Korea fought back with two stunning headers in three minutes from Cho Gue-sung, but Kudus netted what proved to be the winner from a cut-back from the left flank with 22 minutes remaining.

His double makes him the first Ghanaian to score twice in a single World Cup finals game, as well as the second-youngest African player to score two goals in a World Cup match after Ahmed Musa for Nigeria against Argentina in 2014.

“He’s a good character,” said coach Otto Addo.

“He’s a very good guy who is fast one against one. He has very good game intelligence.

“He has to work more defensively, this is for sure, but he is on the right track to be a great, great player.”

Kudus was presented with the man-of-the-match award, but showed humility following his performance at the Education City Stadium.

“The whole team was on top of their game,” said Kudus, who has shone for his club Ajax Amsterdam in this season’s Champions League, netting 4 goals from 6 games.

“I want to thank all my team-mates because it is a collective game and they all played a part in my performance.”

Addo not thinking of ‘revenge’ against Uruguay

Ghana’s victory against South Korea has set up a showdown with Uruguay and added an extra factor to a game already loaded with meaning for Black Stars fans.

Many followers of the national side are hoping for payback against the South Americans, who denied Ghana a place in the World Cup semi-finals in South Africa 12 years ago.

An infamous goal-line handball from Luis Suarez prevented Ghana from scoring an extra-time winner – with Asamoah Gyan missing the resulting penalty before the West Africans lost 4-2 on spot-kicks.

Ghana know they will get a place in the last 16, and eliminate Uruguay, if they pick up three points on Friday (15:00 GMT).

A draw could also be enough to progress if South Korea fail to beat Portugal in the other game in Group H.

Despite the extra attention on the match, Ghana coach Otto Addo says he is “not a guy who thinks of revenge” heading into their meeting with Uruguay.

“It was really, really long time ago that this incident happened and I am a strong believer that if you don’t seek too much revenge on these kind of things, sometimes you get the blessings,” Addo said.

“It will be very difficult but I am confident to know that we can win this game.”

Addo pointed out that it is not only his team and approach that will be different this time, but that it will be a completely different Uruguay side as well.

Suarez could come back up against Ghana, while fellow striker Edinson Cavani and goalkeeper Fernando Muslera also started for Uruguay in Soccer City in Johannesburg, but Andrew Ayew is the only survivor from the Black Stars squad in South Africa.

“It is a different approach, a different team,” Addo added.

“They have very good strikers, lots of experience and they are a very compact, very good team.

“It will be very difficult just like every match. We said before the tournament started every game will be on edge, and we have to be at our best to beat them.”

Otto Addo passes on instructions to Andre Ayew
Andre Ayew is the only survivor from the Ghana squad which reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup in South Africa in 2010

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