Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg was the site of the second match of the day as the encounter featured a matchup of two of the best team nicknames in the tournament. The Stars & Stripes of the United States versus The Black Stars of Ghana. The latter playing for African pride as the only nation alive in the tournament representing the host continent.
The scoring opened up quickly in the 5th minute when Ghana midfielder Kevin Prince Boateng recovered the ball from midfield ran upfield and beat US keeper Tim Howard with a left footed, low shot from just outside the box to give the Black Stars the 1-0 lead.
The US intensified their attack after falling behind but were thwarted consistently by Ghana keeper Richard Kingson. In the 35th minute, US forward Robbie Findley was sent into the box off a nice through ball from teammate Clint Dempsey. Findley was 1 on 1 with Kingson but the American’s low shot was denied with a kick save by Ghana’s keeper.
In the second half, the US would get a break in the 60th minute when Ghana defender Jonathan Mensah fouled Dempsey in the box. US #10 Landon Donovan stepped up and buried the PK to give the equalize the match at 1-1.
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The Americans continued to control possession in the 2nd half but couldn’t get the game winner due to the exemplary play of Kingson and a stacked Ghana defense. US forward Jozy Altidore had the best opportunity to win the game in the 80th minute when he was in the box and while falling down tried to beat Kingson far post but ball went wide. The match would go into extra time after 90 minutes tied at 1-1.
Ghana struck early in the first extra time period, when forward Asamoah Gyan chased down a long ball that surprised US central defenders Carlos Bocanegra and Jay DeMerit. Gyan’s 1st touch settled the ball well in the box and his powerful left foot shot beat US keeper Tim Howard for the 2-1 edge.
The US would dominate possession in the extra time periods but a stacked Ghana defense kept the US from seriously testing Kingson. After 120 minutes of a physical match, the whistle blew with Ghana triumphant by the score 2-1. Ghana became the 3rd African team to advance to the quarterfinals of a World Cup. The Black Stars join The Indomitable Lions of Cameroon in Italy 1990 and The Lions of Teranga of Senegal in Germany 2002 to reach a WC quarterfinal.
It would be the 2nd consecutive World Cup that The Stars & Stripes would be sent packing by The Black Stars. Ghana will face Uruguay on Friday, July 2nd in Johannesburg at Soccer City Stadium.
Read FIFA’s Official US-Ghana Match Report.