BfB Goes To The World Cup 2010 (Without leaving the front room)

The World Cup deserves matches like Ghana’s 2-1 win over the USA and players like Asamoah Gyan deserve to the World Cup to make their mark.

Minutes into extra time after a 1-1 ninety minutes a ball raked from the back saw Carlos Bocanegra and Asamoah Gyan running in a battle for the ball which the African won and powered the resulting shot past Tim Howard in explosive fashion.

The goal was part of a resurgence by the Ghana side who has started the game in stylish fashion utterly outplaying the American side who – aside from injury time in the last group game – had not been in the lead all tournament. Five minutes in and a poor cross field pass from Ricardo Clark was seized upon by Kevin-Prince Boateng who burst forward and unleashed a a fine low shot past Howard.

So dominant were the Africans that USA coach Bob Bradley withdrew Clark to try bolster their out gunned midfield and that would bring benefits in the second half although Howard had to do well to marshal a back line which looked like it would buckle.

So often though World Cup games are won not by the team with the most chances but those who take them. The Americans – with Michael Bradley pressing – were resurgent and Clint Dempsey drove into the box to be brought down by Jonathan Mensah. Landon Donovan beat Richard Kingston with the penalty.

That was all that was getting past Kingston who put in a world class performance in the goal for Ghana making a string of great saved from Robbie Findley, Jozy Altidore and Benny Feilhaber keeping his team level until extra time and Asamoah Gyan.

There is much to be impressed with in the Ghana side. Asamoah Gyan is a striker of note with strength for sure but also a good judgement as to when he should drop to help his midfield and when to press trough the middle.

Boateng is a good mix of European and African talent – Ghana will hope he is fit to play the quarter final after limping off – while André Ayew gives a direction and hustle to the side. They face Uruguay in the quarter finals and are very much equipped to be Africa’s first semi-finalists. Anyone cursing England not ended up playing Ghana should not waste their breath.

The American’s exit is reflective of the limited nature of a side who lack firepower and for all the endeavour they show in grinding out results lack flair. There is also a sense that as a team they can be guilty of failing to put in the levels of effort they require when playing teams that they now consider lesser.

Ghana – in all but forty minutes of the second half – seemed to be one of those teams and as a result of some talent and a great attitude the Africans move on and stand on the brink of football history.

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