For Uruguay, their 2010 quarterfinal win over Ghana is a thing of the past. For the Black Stars, the controversial loss still hurts surely. But revenge is not what they will (or should) seek when they meet Uruguay in a must-win match in Group H.
For the millions of fans in Ghana and Africa, Friday’s match between Ghana and Uruguay is set to be a grudge match with the added benefit of progressing into the knockout stages. But for the players, it is a chance to progress to the round of 16 at this edition.
Portugal have already qualified for the round of 16 with one of Ghana, Uruguay and South Korea hoping to join them.
Here’s a look at how things stand and the different possible scenarios to progress out of Group H ahead of the last set of fixtures:
Note: All the set of last matches in each group will kickoff simultaneously.
Table ahead of fixtures
Friday, December 2
2030: Ghana v Uruguay, Al-Janoub Stadium (Al-Wakrah)
2030: South Korea v Portugal, Education City Stadium (Doha)
Portugal have qualified for the round of 16 having won both their matches so far. Cristiano Ronaldo and co will likely also top the group unless they lose to South Korea and Ghana beat Uruguay. In that case, goal difference (and goals scored etc as listed below) will decide the top two places tied on six points.
A win over Uruguay will see Ghana move into the round of 16. A draw will suffice if South Korea are unable to beat Portugal.
Should South Korea beat Portugal and Ghana are held by Uruguay, subsequent tiebreakers will come into the picture. Ghana have a GD of 0 while South Korea have a GD of -1 as things stand, and will at least improve it with a win over Portugal. If the margin of South Korea’s win is 1, goals scored will come into play. If that is identical, the H2H will favour Ghana.
Ghana can top the group if they beat Uruguay by a big margin and South Korea also beat Portugal by a similar margin.
South Korea have to win against Portugal to have hopes of staying on. A draw will knock Son Heung-min and Co out.
A South Korea win with Ghana vs Uruguay ending in a draw will see the Asians and the Africans be level on four points. If South Korea beat Portugal by two goals or more, they will leapfrog Ghana to second place.
Even if South Korea win by a one-goal margin, they can qualify if Ghana vs Uruguay ends 0-0 and South Korea score at least four goals. In this scenario, Ghana and South Korea will have the same number of points and a GD of 0. However, the Asians will make it the next round on goals scored in all group matches.
A 3-2 South Korea win and a scoreless draw between Ghana and Uruguay will see South Korea and Ghana be level on points, goal difference and goals scored. In this scenario, Ghana will qualify for the knockouts by virtue of beating South Korea in their match.
Fair play rules will not be needed to break the tie between Ghana and South Korea should it come to that.
Uruguay have to beat Ghana and need Portugal to beat South Korea to make it to the next round. A draw or a loss will see them exit the tournament.
Round of 16 fixtures
Monday, December 5
Game 54: 0030 (Next AM): Winners Group G v Runners-up Group H, 974 Stadium (Doha)
Tuesday, December 6
Game 56: 0030 (Next AM): Winners Group H v Runners-up Group G, Lusail Stadium (Lusail)
If two or more teams in the same group are equal on points after the completion of the group stage, the following criteria, in the order below, shall be applied to determine the ranking:
- (a) greatest number of points obtained in all group matches;
- (b) superior goal difference in all group matches;
- (c) greatest number of goals scored in all group matches.
- (d) greatest number of points obtained in the group matches between the teams concerned;
- (e) superior goal difference resulting from the group matches between the teams concerned;
- (f) greatest number of goals scored in all group matches between the teams concerned;
- (g) highest team conduct score relating to the number of yellow and red cards obtained: yellow card: minus 1 point indirect red card (as a result of two yellow cards): minus 3 points, direct red card: minus 4 points, yellow card and direct red card: minus 5 points Only one of the above deductions shall be applied to a player in a single match. The team with the highest number of points shall be ranked highest.
- (h) drawing of lots by FIFA.
- With respect to the second step, all affected teams will be ranked by applying the criteria (d) to (g) in order. If one team qualifies for a higher or lower ranking pursuant to one criterion but it is not possible to rank all teams on the basis of the same criterion, the remaining two or three teams will be ranked pursuant to the next criterion, and so on. In any case, the second step of the ranking does not restart for the two or three teams remaining after application of a criterion.
— via FIFA World Cup regulations document