USA won for the first time against Ghana in the FIFA World Cup beating them in a nail-biting match. In two previous World Cup meetings Ghana defeated the United States. The first time was in 2006 and the second in 2010. This year USA finally secured a win that eliminated its old opponents. United States showed promising attributes that proved they are worthy contenders of the FIFA World Cup.
Before the challenge began US head coach Jurgen Klinsmann told reporters the team was much more prepared than the years before. “I had a feeling that another two or three opportunities would come and we just needed to take one, which we did, said Klinsmann.”
The United State’s speed gave Ghana trouble all throughout the game. Within seconds of the first half US forward Clint Dempsey scored a goal that marked a new FIFA World Cup record.
Though USA did not get another goal for the first half, they were very successful in keeping Ghana from scoring. The game was played hard and US forward Jozy Altidore was hurt just 20 minutes into the first half. Altidore suffered a light injury to the left hamstring and was escorted off the field. Despite three more scoring chances from Dempsey, the United States did not score another goal in the first half.
Ghana looked stunned by the tenacity of USA as they applied an incredible offense strategy against their opponents. The sounds of loud cheers were booming and visibly coming from the section of US fans. Chants like “USA, USA…,” and “I Believe I Can Win” could be heard whenever they blocked a play by Ghana.
USA had an astounding first time win over Ghana even though they kept possession of the ball for most of the second half. US goalkeeper Tim Howard had a few great saves while consistently safe guarding the penalty area. Howard displayed rare athletic skills after robbing a sure-goal from Ghana striker John Boye. Boye came so close to scoring a goal that the US fans could be heard gasping loudly. Howard was locked in position and prevented the chance.
Pressure from Ghana was persistent as different team members attempted shot after shot. As their many colorfully dressed fans chanted and waved, Ghana pushed forward with thundering rhythm.
Towards the end of the second half Ghana midfielder Sulley Muntari repeatedly added pressure running the ball into the penalty. USA’s Michael Bradley, Aron Johannsson, and Jeremy Jones all made some remarkable defensive plays that managed to neutralize Ghana. Dempsey made a move for a second chance at a goal that was stopped by Ghana’s goalkeeper, Adam Larsen Kwarasey.
As the clock rounded into the last 10 minutes, Ghana forward Andre Ayew closed in on the center and side-kicked a powerful goal that tied up the score, 1-1. With a little over five minutes remaining, John Brooks a substitute player scored for USA bringing them up 2-1. USA coach Jurgen Klinsmann said, “I was convinced that we would win this game even after Ghana’s equalizer.” Ghana showed resilience and determination but failed short of earning the necessary win to keep them in the game. USA will continue Group G section along with Germany in the FIFA World Cup pre match. Their next opponents will be Portugal.
Commentary by Kimakra Nealy