Saturday, 26th June 2010
Clinical Finishing Seals Quarter-Final Spot For Africa
USA vs Ghana
Ghana are Africa's last remaining team in the 2010 World Cup and
hope to become the third African team to reach the quarter-finals; following in the
football boots of Cameroon (Italy 1990) and
Senegal (Korea-Japan 2002).
Inside five minutes, Ghana forced Team USA to try and come from behind
Ricardo Clark lost the ball around the halfway line allowing
Kevin-Prince Boateng to take the ball and run the length of the pitch; eventually shooting
the ball low, between a late-diving Tim Howard and his right post.
Ricardo Clark then picked up a yellow card for a hot-headed challenge;
clearly frustrated for giving the goal away.
Another yellow card ten minutes later, this time for Steve Cherundolo
on the edge of the US area, and Tim Howard redeemed himself by saving the Asamoah Gyan
The volume of the vuvuzelas increased in the thirty-fifth minute, in
appreciation of Richard Kingson's left-foot save from Robbie Findley.
Two minutes later and it was Tim Howard's turn to save from a fast
approaching Kwadwo Asamoah.
Half-time substitute, Benny Feilhaber, was into the Ghanaian penalty
area early; forcing Richard Kingson into a left-hand and foot combination save.
Team USA started the second-half brightly, picking holes in the Ghana
defence on a number of occasions; but the United States lacked the final player to
connect, or were denied by the ever alert Richard Kingson.
Just after the hour, United States were back in the game, after
Jonathan Mensah fouled Clint Dempsey in the penalty area. Landon Donovan sent Kingson the
wrong way but looked stunned for a second; when the ball hit the post, then the back of
A minute after Asamoah Gyan tried to aim a glancing header into the
USA top corner, the Americans looked composed going forward, smartly releasing Michael
Bradley behind the Ghana back line. The bosses so probably shot too early and Kingson held
the ball on the ground comfortably.
Jozy Altidore had a great chance to put the United States in front,
with ten minutes to go; but, in stretching to beat the pursuing Mensah, scuffed the turf
and skewed his shot.
Teams would normally be dragging out time with substitutions at such a
late stage of the game, but with extra-time looming both managers still hard one option
available to them.
Ghana had a chance to score with the last corner of the game but
fluffed it and both teams would have another thirty minutes to try and get a result.
Into Extra Time.
Bob Bradley made his final substitution at the start of extra-time;
looking for fresh legs up front, Herculez Gomez on for Jozy Altidore.
But it was a long ball upfield by Andre Ayew that brought the
breakthrough; Asamoah Gyan sprinting shoulder to shoulder with Carlos Bocanegra. Bocanegra
tried to nudge Gyan of the ball; the Ghanaian stumbled slightly but ploughed on, to fire
over Tim Howard before Jay DeMerit could get back to help.
It had been pleasing to see two teams play the game of football like
men; not rolling around and trying to con the referee - until the second period of
Hungary's Viktor Kassai has also played his part in deciding what has
been fair challenges. Maybe the call on Andre Ayew for clipping heels was a close one.
It's all about nerves in the last ten minutes of extra-time, and some
were starting to fray. The United States continued to push; there were still seconds on
the clock and even Tim Howard came up to put himself about.
At the end of a great evening in Rustenburg, Ghana become the third
African team to reach the quarter-finals and perhaps England can think themselves lucky
that they didn't top the group and have to play them.
USA 1 Ghana 2
0:1 Kevin-Prince Boateng (5 mins)
1:1 Landon Donovan (61 mins) - penalty.
1:2 Asamoah Gyan (93 mins)
Man of The Match:
1 Tim Howard; 12 Jonathan Bornstein, 3 Carlos Bocanegra, 15 Jay DeMerit, 6 Steve
Cherundolo; 10 Landon Donovan, 13 Ricardo Clark, 4 Michael Bradley, 8 Clint Dempsey; 20
Robbie Findley, 17 Jozy Altidore.
22 Richard Kingson; 2 Hans Sarpei, 5 John Mensah, 8 Jonathan Mensah, 4 John Pantsil; 13
Andre Ayew, 23 Kevin-Prince Boateng, 6 Anthony Annan, 7 Samuel Inkoom; 3 Asamoah Gyan, 21
Viktor Kassai (Hungary)
31 Mins (USA) - 19 Maurice Edu on for 13 Ricardo Clark
46 Mins (USA) - 22 Benny Feilhaber on for 20 Robbie Findley
73 Mins (Ghana) - 19 Lee Addy on for 2 Hans Sarpei
78 Mins (Ghana) - 10 Stephen Appiah on for 23 Kevin-Prince Boateng
91 Mins (USA) - 9 Herculez Gomez on for 17 Jozy Altidore
113 Mins (Ghana) - 11 Sulley Muntari on for 7 Samuel Inkoom
7 Mins - Ricardo Clark (USA)
17 Mins - Steve Cherundolo (USA)
61 Mins - Jonathan Mensah (Ghana) - misses next game.
68 Mins - Carlos Bocanegra (USA)
90 Mins - Andre Ayew (Ghana) - misses next game.
0 Red Cards.
In the group stage of Germany 2006, Ghana beat
To the Quarter-final in Jo'burg Soccer City.
2010 World Cup Finals - Knockout Stage.
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