Ghana beat United States of America 2-1 in Group E
Thursday, June 22, 2006
In a game that on paper pitted youth and talent versus experience and organisation Ghana came out on top with 2:1 the score at the final whistle, Thursday.
There was not much difference between the two sides, the youngest squad in the tournament versus the 2002 Fifa World Cup quarter-finalists, although the manner of the Ghana win might have left a sour taste in the mouth of USA coach Bruce Arena.
Early in the game, Claudio Reyna was dispossessed with the ball in a last man defensive position. Haminu Draman ran on to goal with the ball and one-on-one passed it by Kasey Keller. Reyna was stretchered off with a knee injury; the USA captain came back on but was substituted before half time.
Landon Donovan took the USA captaincy following Reyna's departure.
The second Ghanian goal was from a penalty. The ball was played into the USA penalty area and Razek Pimpong fell to the pitch next to Oguchi Onyewu. The replay was not conclusive but did show the defender's arms were not in a position to push hard on the Ghana player who had appeared to make a rapid fall.
Though he was the last defender before the goalkeeper Onyewu was not cautioned for the challenge. Stephen Appiah converted the penalty inside right foot to top left of the net, seconds before half time.
United States had drawn level from Clint Dempsey on 43 minutes when DaMarcus Beasley intercepted a defensive pass and weighted the perfect ball for the striker to run on too.
The crowd booed the referee when the half time whistle blew but in the second half their team did not do enough to put Richard Kingston, and the Ghana goal, under pressure. The USA got just three shots on target in the game.
Ghana conceded 32 fouls in the game and the pressure on their defence increased in the second half when they had to defend their lead.
From Eddie Lewis's short cross to the near post Brian McBride went closest to making the score 2-2 flicking a header onto a vertical. Donovan got in good positions, a freekick close to the penalty area and a run into the box, but in both cases his decision to pass badly and not shoot relieved the pressure for Ghana.
A feature of the game the FIFA Technical Study Group might look at was the number of Ghana players who spent a long time on the ground with injuries under challenges. There was five minutes of injury time at the end of the match. This meant the game ran well past the finish time of the concurrent contest between Italy and Czech Republic also in Group E.
The half-time kick-off also started five minutes behind the match Italy won to top the group. One point ahead of a Ghana team who had reached the round of sixteen in just their first Fifa World Cup finals.
|June 22, 2006|
- 22 R Kingston
- 05 J Mensah 81'
- 15 J Pantsil
- 07 I Shilla 32'
- 13 H Mohamed
- 10 S Appiah 91'
- 08 M Essien 5'
- 23 H Dramani (Substituted: 80' A Tachie-Mensah)
- 09 D Boateng (Substituted: 45' O Addo)
- 14 M Amoah (Substituted: 59' E Addo)
- 19 R Pimpong
Fifa World Cup Group E table June 22, 2006
- "Ghana 2-1 USA" — , June 22, 2006
- "Fifa match report" — , June 22, 2006
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