Saturday, June 26, 2010
U.S.A. Is O-U-T
Stunning loss for the Yanks today. They went down early in regulation, down early in extra time, and down early in the chase for the Cup, losing 2-1 to Ghana. Ghana will face Uruguay in the quarterfinals match-up.
It took only 5 minutes for the Black Stars to get on the scoresheet. Kevin-Prince Boateng was practically given a goal by the still cold defense. Ricardo Clark misplayed the ball, and could not catch up to Boateng as he shot a low roller by Howard to the near post. 2 minutes later, Clark was booked for a reckless challenge, receiving a yellow card. A poor decision by US manager Bob Bradley to even start Clark in the match today, Bradley then chose to use their first of three subs on replacing him with Maurice Edu 31 minutes in.
The Stars and Stripes were dying a slow death, with the Ghanaians running the show for practically all of the first half. Benny Feilhaber came in to replace a lackluster Robbie Findley at the start of the half. I don't know what it was Coach Bradley said during the break, but USA came out firing. They put pressure on the defenders, and didn't give the Ghana forwards any breathing room.
Ghana seemed to start panicking, and in the 61st minute, finally, the US' chance to shine. Clint Dempsey was caught from the back to the right side of the box, and the US was awarded a penalty kick. Landon Donovan lined it up, and struck it perfectly off the right post and in. Tie game, 1-1.
Going into extra time, the US looked flat out tired. Herculez Gomes was subbed in for an uncharacteristically lazy Jozy Altidore. Unfortunately, the tired US legs just couldn't keep up with the Black Stars. The final nail in the coffin was smashed in by Asamoah Gyan 3 minutes into extra time. Again, a slip-up on defense led to the easy goal. At that point, the cord had been pulled clean out of the Americans.
The clock struck midnight on the US, as for the second World Cup in a row, their last game was a 2-1 lost to the Ghanaians.