By FRANCO PANIZO
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?
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