Despite Giorgian De Arrascaeta’s double seeing Uruguay beat Ghana 2-0, they were knocked out of the World Cup on goals scored after South Korea’s win against Portugal.
It was all to play for heading into the final Group H matches and Uruguay thought they had done enough in the first half as Flamengo midfielder De Arrascaeta scored twice in quick succession.
They were the first goals Uruguay had scored in the group stages, and it proved to be pivotal to their World Cup exit.
With just minutes to play at the Al Janoub Stadium, Uruguay remained second behind Portugal, but a late South Korea winner from Wolves’ Hee-Chan Hwang against Portugal saw them depose the South Americans on goals scored – netting four to Uruguay’s two.
It meant Uruguay needed just one goal to fire them into the last-16 on goal difference as eight minutes of added time was shown.
Ghana themselves could also have reached the knockout rounds with two late goals, throwing everything forward in an improved second half.
A tearful Luis Suarez – the villain of Uruguay and Ghana’s last meeting at the 2010 World Cup – urged his side forward from the bench, breaking down in tears as the full-time whistle blew in what is likely to be his last World Cup.
There were angry scenes after the game as the Uruguayan players confronted referee Daniel Siebert and his officials after a late penalty appeal went unheeded, with the German swiftly heading down the tunnel.
Meanwhile, there were jubilant scenes of celebration from South Korea – who had a lengthy wait to find out if they had done enough – as they reached the knockout rounds for the first time since 2010.