Ghana 2 USA 1 – An African success for an African World Cup

Read the Ghana v Uruguay preview.

In a sentence

After a tense ending to the 90 minutes, Black Stars strike early in extra-time to progress.

Just like I wanted to see Spain play last night

Ghana moved the ball brilliantly in the first-half, far better than in their previous games. There was pace, patience and real creativity. It was a performance of a side who believe they can make their mark on this tournament.


The excitement around the US has ignored the poor quality of opposition they faced in the group stages. Tonight they chased shadows for the first 45 minutes. Even when Ghana dropped their intensity in the second half, the US enjoyed possession but relatively few chances. All tournament this side has lacked a cutting edge.

A tale of two strikers

Jozy Altidore’s pace and strength catch the eye but his physical power is undermined by technical deficiencies. He will always look dangerous but will very rarely deliver; this was the story of his time at Hull and of his World Cup. He has the potential to be an international centre-forward but has a way to go.

Asamoah Gyan might just become the icon of this tournament. I heard one commentator say dismissively that he isn’t a Drogba or an Eto’o. This misses the point: he has worked tirelessly in the thankless role of lone striker in a side that rarely commits enough midfielders forward.  Tonight he got his reward.

Brave management

It was not pleasant to watch Ricardo Clark coming off on the verge of tears. But Bob Bradley was right. So often managers wait until half-time before reassessing but why leave things if they are clearly not working? Bold and good to see.

What next?

The heart shouts Ghana, the head says Uruguay will edge it. Forlan and Suarez might just be too much for the Ghanaian back-line; I’d love to be proved wrong.

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