What was an agonizing hope has finally come to a grinding, devastating halt when the United States lost 2-1 to Ghana in a hotly contested math that left fans on either side breathless. Kevin Prince Boateng, whose brother plays in the German team, stunned the world when he put Ghana ahead in the 5th minute after stripping the ball from Ricardo Clark to beat goalkeeper Tim Howard from 16 yards.
Ghana came in with the support of the entire Sub-Saharan Africa for having been the only African team still remaining in the world cup competition. The stake was high for either team.
The U.S. came back, and Landon Donovan tied the score with a penalty kick in the 62nd minute after Jonathan Mensah pulled down Clint Dempsey streaking in. The game went on until the required 90-minute. Then, it went into overtime, and Asamoah Gyan, Ghanaian striker, scored 3 minutes into the overtime, leading the Black Stars to a 2-1 victory that ended a thrilling but ultimately unfulfilling World Cup for the United States that was watched by record audiences throughout the United States.
Josmer “Jozy” Volmy Altidore, the Haitian-American stiker born in New-Jersey on November 6, 1989, was replaced during overtime. He was reported to be too tired to continue. But the United States tried hard to tie the score. Unfortunately, they couldn’t do it. “We had already expended a lot of energy at that time,” said US coach Bradle. “I think we put ourselves in trouble with giving up the early goal again.” Bradley went on to say that “This is a terrific group and we’re proud. We’re also disappointed that we couldn’t take it further.”
The US team is a promising team with young players such as Jozy Altidore, Dempsey and Donovan at the zenith of their careers. More and more, soccer is taking roots at the professional level in the US. Because a growing fan base watched on television in record numbers, the loss was even more stinging for a team still struggling for recognition both in the soccer world and among sports fans in America. “Soccer can be a cruel game,” Donovan said. “Sometimes you’re at the top and sometimes you are at the bottom of the mountain.”
Ghana: the pride of Africa
Ghana, the only African team left in the tournament, celebrated moving into the quarterfinals against Uruguay on Friday in Johannesburg. In their second World Cup appearance, the Black Stars bettered their 2006 team, which lost to Brazil 3-0 in the second round. That teams beat the Americans 2-1 in the final game of the opening round to send the U.S. home. “We did it before,” Gyan said. “We did it in 2006.”
News reports confirmed huge celebrations throughout Africa: From Accra, the Ghanaian capital, to Cape Town in South Africa.