Both teams began well at the Mubarak Stadium, with referee Joel Aguilar of Slovenia getting things underway in the first of the quarter-final matches, with an Asia versus Africa battle to see which nation would become a semi-finalist.
Korea had beaten Paraguay in the previous match, while Ghana disposed of South Africa in a tight round-of-16 encounter. Ghana was the more physical of the two teams, using their strength to gain control of the midfield, and an early goal fell the way of the Africans in the 8th minute.
Dominic Adiyiah was the man to get on the score sheet for Ghana, before Ransford Osei extended Ghana's lead in the 28th minute. Korea did not give up however, and they soon cut the deficit by one as Hoo Seong Park scored just after the half hour mark.
Three yellow cards were handed out in the first half, with Hee Seong Park and Young Cheol Cho being booked for Korea, while Ghana’s Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu collected a card for his infringement on 22 minutes. The play was energetic rather than rough, with a few hard challenges thrown in for good measure.
The second half would bring with it a renewed sense of hope for the Koreans, aware that a single goal separated them from a draw with the Ghanaians. Korea Republic monopolized the possession in the second half, showing an impressive array of passing but failing to capitalize in the final third of the pitch.
In the 66th minute Osei came close to doubling his tally in the game with a fantastic strike from distance, but the Korean keeper gave an indication of his talents with a fine save to keep the Asians in the game.
Time was not on Korea’s side however, and in the 77th minute Adiyiah scored his second of the game, as he calmly slotted past Seung Gyu Kim from within the box.
Korea pushed forward in search of a comeback, and with ten minutes remaining substitute Kim Dong Sub found the back of the net with a header, sending the Korean fans into a frenzy, bringing back memories of the 2002 World Cup hosts and their singing supporters.
An exciting finish was in store for those inside the Mubarak Stadium, with attacks flying at both ends of the pitch and the Black Satellites hitting the post with a well-hit shot from the edge of the box, but in the end desperate defending and Ghanaian resolve held strong and the Africans won 3-2, allowing them to progress to the semi-finals of the competition.
Peter Pedroncelli, Goal.com