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What do Portugal, Uruguay, Ghana and South Korea need to qualify?

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Group H at the World Cup has provided some real entertainment and, it must be said, some VAR controversy too.

Portugal looked like the team to beat from the moment the draw was made and that has proven to be the case, but there could be some real final-game drama in store.

Here’s what each side needs to go through.

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Portugal at the World Cup so far

Portugal are a team that can sometimes get a little lost in a Cristiano Ronaldo side-show, and his release from Manchester United threatened to be a huge distraction to them in Qatar.

They have managed the situation brilliantly, though, and found a way to beat Ghana 3-2 in their opening game. Ghana felt VAR was overly generous to Portugal, but that ultimately isn’t reflected in the table.

The Portuguese backed that up with another battling win over Uruguay with Bruno Fernandes bagging a brace in a 2-0 success.

What do Portugal need?

In terms of qualifying for the knockout stage, Portugal have already got the job done. They still need another point to be absolutely certain of winning the group, though.  

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Uruguay at the World Cup

Uruguay arrived in Qatar with an intriguing mix of ageing proven superstars and a fresh crop of talent with plenty to prove. Neither have really fired yet. In fact, they are still looking for their first goal in the 2022 World Cup.

They started out with a goalless draw against an energetic South Korean team and it immediately looked like they might come to regret not being able to find a winner.

A clash with Portugal was next and they came up short again, this time losing 2-0 to leave them bottom of the group with one game left.

What do Uruguay need?

Strange as it sounds considering they are bottom of the group, Uruguay will still be fancying their chances of reaching the knockout stage.

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A win over Ghana in the final group match should be enough as long as South Korea don’t beat Portugal. If South Korea do pull off a shock, then Uruguay can still qualify if their winning margin is two goals greater than the Asian side’s.

Ghana at the World Cup

Ghana will probably be feeling unfortunate not to be in greater contention to win Group H going into their final fixture.

They felt aggrieved by the decisions from the referee and VAR in their 3-2 defeat to Portugal and probably would have gained at least a point out of it on another day.

Otto Addo’s men followed that up with another 3-2 thriller against South Korea, but this time they were on the right side of it and head into the final group game second in the table.

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What do Ghana need?

Qualification is firmly in Ghana’s hands, and they will relish the opportunity to knock Uruguay out of a World Cup after the controversial quarterfinal in 2010.

If they beat Uruguay they have an outside chance of winning the group if South Korea can beat Portugal. To ensure their qualification, though, Ghana simply need to match South Korea’s result.

South Korea at the World Cup

South Korea will probably be scratching their heads and wondering how they have failed to win a match yet in Qatar.

Their opening fixture was a game of fine margins against Uruguay and finished in a 0-0 draw that hasn’t looked like it has helped either of them.

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They followed that up with one of the games of the tournament so far as they battled back from two goals down to equalise against Ghana. As they were pushing for a winner, though, Ghana nicked one themselves and won it 3-2.

What do South Korea need

South Korea probably need to find an already-qualified Portugal in a charitable mood in their final group game, in all honesty.

Even then that won’t be enough if Ghana beat Uruguay. If Uruguay win that one, South Korea need to win by at least the same margin. In other words, what South Korea need to do is beat Portugal and hope for the best.



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Hector Bellerin joins Sporting CP from Barcelona

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Full-back Hector Bellerin has joined Sporting CP until the end of the season from Barcelona.

The Spanish international was signed by Barca in the summer but made just three La Liga appearances for the club in the first half of the season.

As such, Bellerin has now left the club in search of more first team football.

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A statement on Barcelona’s website reads regarding the move reads: “Barcelona and Sporting Clube de Portugal have reached an agreement for the transfer of the player Hector Bellerin. 

“FC Barcelona would like to express publicly their gratitude to Bellerin for his commitment and his dedication and wish him all the best for the future. 

“Hector Bellerin made seven appearances for the first team. FC Barcelona announced his arrival in the summer of 2022 after he left Premier League side Arsenal as a free agent. The right back returned to the Club 11 years after leaving the youth teams at FC Barcelona to join the London club. 

“Bellerin made his first team debut on 10 September in the 4-0 win away at Cádiz, starting the game at right back. The defender went to make two more appearances in La Liga, two in the Copa del Rey and two in the Champions League.”

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Crystal Palace confirm loan signing of Albert Sambi Lokonga

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Crystal Palace have confirmed the deadline day loan signing of Albert Sambi Lokonga from Arsenal.

Lokonga featured sporadically for Arsenal during the first half of the 2022/23 season, making just two Premier League starts as the Gunners have mounted an unlikely title challenge.

The midfielder has now joined Palace on loan for the remainder of the campaign in search of more regular football.

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Speaking to the club’s official website after making the move, Lokonga said: “I’m really excited – I can’t wait to get started. I’m really happy to join Crystal Palace. I want to go as far as possible with the team. I will try to push for me and the team to do the maximum to reach the top.”

Palace chairman Steve Parish was quick to praise Lokonga too, saying: “I would like to welcome Sambi to south London, and am pleased he has chosen to join Patrick’s squad for the rest of the season, after making an impressive start to life in English football.

“He has been on our radar for several years since his emergence at Anderlecht, and we very much look forward to his contribution as we push to climb the table”.

The midfielder has been replaced by Jorginho at Arsenal, with the Italian midfielder making the move across London from Chelsea to join the Gunners on a permanent deal.

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On this edition of TCOAG, Harry Symeou reacts to the news Arsenal have agreed a £12m deal to sign Jorginho from Chelsea. If you can’t see this embed, click here to listen to the podcast!



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Atletico Madrid confirm signing of Matt Doherty after Tottenham contract termination

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Atletico Madrid have confirmed the signing of Matt Doherty after the player agreed a mutual termination of his Tottenham contract.

In joining Atleti, Doherty becomes the first ever Republic of Ireland international to play for one of Spain’s top three clubs.

Doherty isn’t the only wing-back to leave Tottenham on deadline day, as the Irish star follows Djed Spence out the door – with the former Forest man joining Stade Rennais on loan until the end of the season.

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A statement from Tottenham regarding the news reads: “We have mutually agreed to the termination of Matt Doherty’s contract to enable him to join another club.

“Signed from Wolverhampton Wanderers in August, 2020, the Republic of Ireland international made 71 appearances for us in all competitions, scoring three goals.

“We should like to thank Matt for his service and wish him well for the future.”

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Both outgoings have made way for new signing Pedro Porro, who is joining Spurs on an initial loan with an obligation to buy the player outright from Sporting CP in the summer.





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