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World Cup Recap - United States vs. Ghana



(Saturday, June 26th)

Final Score: Ghana 2, United States 1

Rustenburg, South Africa (Sports Network) - Asamoah Gyan scored the game winner just three minutes into extra time as Ghana topped the United States 2-1 in their FIFA World Cup round of 16 match at Royal Bafokeng Stadium on Saturday.

A fifth-minute goal by Kevin-Prince Boateng put Ghana up 1-0 early before a second-half Landon Donovan penalty kick equalized, forcing the two 15-minute extra-time periods to be added to the original 90 minutes.

With the win, Ghana plays Uruguay on Friday in the quarterfinals at Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg.

This is the second-straight World Cup in which the U.S. had its tournament ended by the Ghanaians after losing their final group-stage match in 2006 in Germany, 2-1.

"There were some chances for us but early in the overtime we went down again, and at that point, with everything we had put in physically we just didn't have enough after that," U.S. coach Bob Bradley said.

"At the moment it is just a stinging tough defeat."

The U.S. had a solid build up in the second minute capped off by Donovan's low cross through the Ghana six-yard box, but no one was there to knock it home.

Ghana got its first shot of the game two minutes later when Samuel Inkoom drove the ball well wide from about 20 yards before a Clint Dempsey speculative effort on the ensuing rush was easily saved by Ghana goalkeeper Richard Kingson.

Ghana went up with the early goal by Boateng after a turnover by U.S. midfielder Ricardo Clark. Boateng dashed into the USA penalty area and drove a left-footed shot past goalkeeper Tim Howard at the near post as the defense backed off.

The goal was the third the U.S. has given up inside 15 minutes in this World Cup, and the second inside five minutes.

The U.S. looked out of sorts for the next 10 minutes as it struggled to hold possession. The team did string together a chance on a 23rd-minute when Michael Bradley made a good run into the area and tried to pull the ball back for Robbie Findley, but Kingson did well to hold the service.

The best chance of the half for the U.S. came in the 37th minute when a Donovan through-ball sprung Findley into the area, but the forward shot right at Kingson, who did well to come out and cut down the angle.

Howard made a huge save on Kwadwo Asamoah a minute later when a long ball skipped through the U.S. area to the midfielder, whose near-post shot was deflected wide by the U.S. keeper.

The U.S. came out strong in the second half, with the addition of Benny Feilhaber adding a much-needed spark. Dempsey played a ball into the Ghana penalty area to Jozy Altidore, who laid the ball off to Feilhaber on the left side, but his effort from in tight was knocked away by Kingson minutes after the interval.

The U.S. earned a penalty kick after Jonathan Mensah took down Dempsey inside the area following a Donovan pass, and the Los Angeles Galaxy standout drove the equalizer off the right post and in for his third goal of the tournament.

Bradley was played into the box by an Altidore ball in the 77th minute, but his turning left-footed shot was saved by Kingson as the U.S. had the better of the chances in the second half.

Altidore had another chance 10 minutes from time after a long ball from the back. He muscled a defender off the ball but hooked a shot just wide of the right post, sending the contest into extra time.

Gyan made it 2-1 to Ghana just three minutes into the extra session when a long ball from the back split the U.S. defense before the dangerous striker fired past Howard.

The U.S. had a chance to equalize again five minutes later off a corner kick. The kick was taken short then curled into the area by Steve Cherundolo, but headed just wide by Maurice Edu.

Ghana was just trying to play out the remainder of the match and they survived a close-range effort from Dempsey, which was blocked by a defender in the dying minutes.

"We have done this before, we did it in 2006, but now we have advanced one step higher," Gyan said. "I'm very, very happy. I'm the happiest man in the world. We have made everybody proud, not Ghana alone, but the whole of Africa."

06/26 20:03:59 ET


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