Ayew hits hat trick in rout

ByAssociated Press ESPN logo
Thursday, June 12, 2014

MIAMI -- Jordan Ayewscored three times after entering the game after coming on as a bench as Ghana won their last warm-up match for next week's World Cup opener by beating South Korea 4-0.

Ghana play the United States next Monday in Natal, Brazil. The Black Stars eliminated the Americans from the World Cup in 2006 and 2010.

"We want USA!" Ghanian fans chanted in the second half.

Ghana forward Abdul Majeed Waris left the game in the fourth minute with a left leg injury and was replaced by Ayew, who scored in the 13th minute when his shot from 15 yards deflected off defender Ki Sung-yueng and past goalkeeper Jung Sung-ryong.

Ayew nestled a strike into the corner of the net from 23 yards in the 53rd minute, and scored from close range in the 89th minute with an assist from Albert Adomah.

Asamoah Gyan, who scored the goal that clinched Ghana's win over the Americans four years ago, showed he's ready for the rematch. He stole the ball from Kwak Taehwi near midfield, dribbled 20 yards past Kim Young-gwon and scored from 15 yards in the 44th minute.

Gyan and his teammates then celebrated with the azonto, a dance from Ghana popular in clubs there. The attacking display was a big improvement for Ghana, who lost their previous two friendlies 1-0 to Montenegro and Netherlands.

The last friendly for the two teams before the World Cup drew a small but enthusiastic crowd of less than 5,000, creating an atmosphere akin to a high school football game in the Miami Dolphins' 75,000-seat stadium.

The crowds will be bigger in Brazil. South Korea's first game will be against Russia at Cuiaba on June 17.

Ghana's speedy but disciplined defence limited South Korea to a handful of scoring chances. Lee Chung-yong shot barely wide of the goal from 15 yards in the 15th minute, and Kim Bo-kyungpulled a shot wide from 12 yards in the 67th minute. Ghana goalkeeper Fatau Dauda knocked away a shot by Son Heung-Min in the 40th minute.

Jordan Ayew and teammate Mohammed Rabiu shook off a head-to-head collision midway through the first half.