Tuesday, June 17, 2014

USA gun Ghana 2-1 in the 2014 Fifa World Cup

A flying start for the USA as Clint Dempsey scored with just half a minute on the clock. Loss of concentration at the beginning of the match was all it took, a throw in on the left side taken quickly and a few passes around the defenders and the killer ball by Jones that found Dempsey who was not being tracked. He beat Boye with a lot of ease and fired at the far post.

Poor marking outside the box, lack of pressure on the man on the ball and no support on the first defender were the cardinal sins for Ghana to commit. A strong showing in terms of ball-winning and passing counted for nought as the atrocious final ball kept Jurgen Klinsman’s boys in the game. The Africans could have levelled the scores by half-time, had they composed their attack and increased the speed of attack. The USA showed cracks on the wings, and a foot on the ball with authority by Ghana could easily unlock their defence.

The North Americans, who had to deal with three injury-forced changes, could have wrapped up the match when Jozi Altadore’s effort was blocked. Numerous counter attacking moves were wasted by the Americans attack. They were matched by their careless opponents in the later stages of the first half.

USA started the second half with a little control on the game, restricting Ghana to long-range efforts and play outside the penalty area as they defended with their lives. Asamoah Gyan was the chief culprit in front of goal as he failed to convert aerial balls delivered into the box. Sully Muntari played well in midfield, shooting from range.

Kevin Prince Boateng added some attacking firepower when he came on for Jordan Ayew. Pressure mounted on the Africans as the match wore on without that elusive goal. Ghana played well in midfield and passed the ball to the left of the field. A pass to the box was back-heeled by Gyan for the onrushing Andre Ayew to control and belt a left footer with the outside of his boot to beat a diving Tim Howard.

With a chance to salvage a win, the Black Stars pushed forward and got exposed at the back. The Stars and Stripes capitalised on that offensive behaviour with counter attacks that led to a corner kick. Brooks out jumped all around him thump a free header home. Ghana rued the missed opportunities as the USA held on for what can be termed a 2010 South Africa Fifa World Cup revenge.

As much as they had control of the match for the entire match, Ghana were totally responsible for the result of the match. It was never about how good the Americans were, but rather how poor the Africans played. They should have never conceded the fatal corner kick. They should have not allowed a free header in the 12-yard box. The goalkeeper should have come out for the corner-kick. Africa teams lack the discipline of the strategy (tactical discipline), match management abilities and the killer instincts.