Ghana continue to carry the hopes of Africa after a hard fought 2-1 win over the USA after extra time.
USA: 1 GHANA: 2
Venue: Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg
Officials Referee: Viktor Kassai (Hungary) Assistants: Gabor Eros and Tibor Vamos (both Hungary) Fourth official: Michael Hester (New Zealand)
Yellow cards: USA – Cherundolo, Clark, Bocanegra GHA – Mensah J, Ayew
Red cards: none
Ghana started the match confidently and more than deserved their early lead from Kevin-Prince Boateng but then lost their way in the second half allowing the USA to level. But once extra time began the Black Stars again took an early lead and regained their early composure to set up a quarter final clash with Uruguay.
After 4 minutes Clinton Dempsey had a shot easily saved by Ghana keeper Richard Kingson and that was as good as it got for the USA in the first 45 minutes, as the African side took control and bossed the game.
Closing the American’s down and breaking quickly it was no surprise when Kevin Prince-Boateng put them ahead on 5 minutes, taking advantage of the USA giving possession away in midfield. As the USA retreated Boateng hit a crisp, low shot into the bottom corner past Tim Howard.
The Black Stars pressing game caused the USA into unforced errors and only the agility of Howard prevented Ghana from doubling their lead. The USA for their part created little, looking jaded from their Group exertions.
Within a minute of the restart substitute Benny Feilhaber brought a fine save from Richard Kingson and suddenly the USA regained the initiative and were rewarded with a penalty on the hour.
Jonathan Mensah clumsily brought down Clinton Dempsey and Landon Donovan converted from 12 yards courtesy of the left hand post. The USA continued to press and Jozy Altidore slid a shot narrowly wide but despite their fightback the game went into extra time.
Now it was Ghana’s turn to have resurgence and within 3 minutes of the extra period they regained the lead and their early confidence.A route one ball was helped on to Asamoah Gyan who held off the challenge of Carlos Bocanegra to lash the ball past Howard from 15 yards.
Back came the USA and Benny Feilhaber saw his shot deflected wide but Ghana held out to remain the only African side left in the tournament.
As for the USA, Mick Jagger was a spectator in Rustenburg and he might have reminded the American’s, ‘You can’t always get what you want.’
1. Tim Howard 6. Steve Cherundolo 15. Jay DeMerit 3. Carlos Bocanegra 12. Jonathan Bornstein 8. Clinton Dempsey 4. Michael Bradley 13. Ricardo Clark (Edu, 30) 10. Landon Donovan 17. Jozy Altidore (Gomez, 91) 20. Robbie Findley (Feilhaber, 46)
18. Bradley Guzan (GK) 2. Jonathan Spector 5. Oguchi Onyewu 7. DaMarcus Beasley 9. Herculez Gomez 11. Stuart Holden 14. Edson Buddle 16. Jose Torres 19. Maurice Edu (30) 21. Clarence Goodson 22. Benny Feilhaber 23. Marcus Hahnemann (GK)
22. Richard Kingson 7. Samuel Inkoom (Muntari, 113) 4. John Pantsil 5. John Mensah 8. Jonathan Mensah 2. Hans Sarpei (Addy, 72) 6. Anthony Annan 23. Kevin-Prince Boateng (Appiah, 78) 21. Kwadwo Asamoah 3. Asamoah Gyan 13. Andre Ayew
1. Daniel Adjei (GK) 9. Derek Boateng 10. Stephen Appiah 11. Sulley Muntari 12. Prince Tagoe 14. Matthew Amoah 17. Rahim Ayew 18. Dominic Adiyah 19. Lee Addy 20. Quincy Owusu-Abeyie 16. Stephen Ahorlu (GK)