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World Cup Recap - Serbia vs. Ghana



(Sunday, June 13)

Final Score: Ghana 1, Serbia 0

Pretoria, South Africa (Sports Network) - Ghana claimed a 1-0 victory over Serbia to earn the first victory by an African team on African soil in FIFA World Cup play on Sunday.

The Group D opener for both teams came down to an 85th-minute penalty kick after Serbian midfielder Zdravko Kuzmanovic handled a ball going across the penalty area from the left side.

Ghana striker Asamoah Gyan pounded home the chance to give the Black Stars the full points and the early lead atop the group.

Ghana has now won all three World Cup matches in which it has scored a goal.

The game started slowly with the best early chance being a Gyan missed header from a Kevin-Prince Boateng cross in the 21st minute as Ghana carried the play for the first quarter of the game.

Serbia took the momentum the rest of the half, with a free kick by Aleksandar Kolarov curling just wide at the half-hour mark as the best scoring chance.

A Dejan Stankovic effort from distance was bobbled by Ghana goalkeeper Richard Kingson before the break, but no damage was done as he recovered to collect it.

Eight minutes after the break Ghana forward Prince Tagoe served a ball to the far post for Andrew Ayew, whose header went wide from close range.

Serbia's Nikola Zigic had a chance go begging after a service from the right side when a defender disrupted the attempt in the six-yard box.

Ghana narrowly missed going up a goal at the hour mark when Gyan headed a John Paintsil throw-in off the right post as the game remained scoreless.

Ghana was given a clear advantage in the 74th minute when Serbian defender Aleksandar Lukovic earned his second yellow card, forcing his side to play down a man the rest of the way.

Serbia seemed to get stronger after going down to 10 men, however, with Danko Lazovic taking control of the ball on the byline before playing a pass to the middle of the six-yard box to Marko Pantelic. But the forward's hard shot went right at Kingson.

Nemanja Vidic headed the ensuing corner just over the bar in the 79th, minutes before heartbreak for the Serbian faithful.

In the 83rd minute Kuzmanovic committed the handball that resulted in the penalty-kick goal by Gyan, who also hit the post in stoppage time to narrowly miss putting Ghana up 2-0.

The White Eagles will aim to rebound vs. Germany on Friday, while Ghana plays Australia the next day in its next Group D match.

06/13 12:27:17 ET


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