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United States eliminated after 2-1 extra time loss to Ghana

United States 4 (Getty Images)


The U.S. national team has made a habit of coming back after surrendering early goals, and while it was able to do it once against Ghana, it couldn't do it twice.

The United States was eliminated from the World Cup at the hands of Ghana for a second consecutive time, losing 2-1 to the Black Stars in a round of 16 match at Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg on Saturday. 

An early goal from Kevin-Prince Boateng was negated by a Landon Donovan penalty kick in the second half, but there would be no magical comeback against the lone African nation remaining in the tournament after Asamoah Gyan scored three minutes into the first half of extra time.

Ghana opened the scoring in the fifth minute when Ricardo Clark was pickpocketed near midfield by Kwadwo Asamoah. Boateng picked up the loose ball and raced towards goal before hitting a low shot past Jay DeMerit and Tim Howard to the near post.

Just as it has so many times in the past year, the United States rallied. Clint Dempsey was fouled in the penalty area by Jonathan Mensah, giving the Americans its first penalty kick in a World Cup since 1950. Donovan converted the spotkick, scoring his third goal of the tournament with a perfectly-taken penalty kick in the 62nd.

The Americans had opportunities to grab a go-ahead goal but a lack of finishing saw the game remain 1-1 and head into extra time.

That's where disaster struck again for the United States.

Three minutes into the first half of stoppage time, Gyan latched onto a long ball in between DeMerit and Carlos Bocanegra, and the Ghanaian forward ran towards goal before shooting the ball over Howard for the 2-1 lead.

While the Americans have managed to come from behind repeatedly in this tournament, the team looked physically spent and couldn't muster up the magic once more.


How disappointed are you by the Americans' exit? Who impressed you vs. Ghana? Who do you feel wasn't up to par?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Agreed. Just got back tonight after 48 hours’ travel–needless to say I won’t fly Delta again. Was at the games. I couldn’t believe that BB started both Clark & Bornstein, defensive liabilities both, IMHO. Edu was showing that he was the starter for the middle of the park, so why the change? JB, I understand, as they apparently wanted to sit Gooch for this one, but you can’t have multiple defensive liabilities on the field at the same time. The game was a serious disappointment. It was definitely winnable with better prep, and the guys just got stuck into their late game long-ball routine again, despite showing occasional flashes of attacking possession, mostly early on.

  2. Even if we lost, the team did a fine job. No angry outbursts, no dirty play, … and probably MLS will lead the way in introducing useful technology, as US fans will ask for it and the league will encourage it.

    BB messed up with Clark, and for me Findley was an even bigger bad bet all through, as Buddle was just superior. I can’t complain about Jozy, except to say that BB used him poorly, as he’s great but does get tired, especially when he’s dragged down in the box multiple times with no calls.

    For me, I can say BB messed up but also say that we were robbed by the ref that clearly favored Ghana’s style of dirty fouls and crybaby antics over solid play. Not that they weren’t a good opponent, but they used tactics that simply shouldn’t be rewarded by the refs. And BB probably would have had the win if we had a quality ref. That said, the US still had some of the best on-field heart-stopping entertainment of the cup. And we’ll still get better, with a new coach that will learn from Bradley, who messed up in the end after a good runup, and improve.


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