Once again the U.S. gives up an early goal to start the match down. These guys sure do like playing from behind, but they are messing with danger. With both teams playing conservative the first half ends with Ghana leading by one.
The U.S. came out in the second half with a little fight in them and soon thereafter, the United State were rewarded with a penalty kick after an American was taken down in the box. In the one area where the U.S. is even with the best teams in the world, who they would send to the spot to take the penalty kick was a no brainer. Landon Donovan stepped up and banked it off the side of the post knocking it into the back of the net tying the game and showing he and America are for real. With the game being a tactical masterpiece with transition and normal play both being used the game ended at a 1-1 tie sending the two teams off the field for a quick break before playing two 15 minute halves.
Just as they started the game, Ghana scored early into the extra period putting the USA into another chase mode. The U.S. fought with all they had and had several opportunities but nothing could find it's way into the goal and Ghana moved on and the U.S. went home. It was a very entertaining match that was one by Ghana's quick and early strike offense. The U.S. were disappointed, and deservingly so, but they had plenty to be proud about. The most noteworthy point being how many Americans they made soccer fans.
I guess America ran out of comebacks, but they sure left a memorable mark on these Finals. The Landon Donovan goal in stoppage time to beat Algeria is the stuff of legend and should help the game grow in the US.
I think the Americans should be very proud of themselves. They played honest football, won their group and gave it their best shot against a Ghana team that is Africa's best at these Finals. Unlike several teams, whose players seem to think it is necessary to act they've been shot at the slightest contact, the US just played the game. For a country ranked #14 in the world, this was a solid result.
Ghana will be in very tough against Uruguay and while I wish them well, it's hard to see them getting best the South Americans.
And so the magical run for the USA comes to an end as Ghana, the same team that eliminated them in 2006, knocked out America here again. The US had to come back from a 1-0 deficit, but after they did that to force an overtime period, Ghana got the go ahead goal and was able to play keep away long enough to advance.
The US team was never that great so I guess they should be proud of making it here, but there are no moral victories in the World Cup. Still, they made for compelling TV and I am sure some people in the country will still be feeling the effects of this at work on Monday morning.
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