Jeff Alworth

In a masterful performance, the number 48 ranked Ghana just completely outplayed number 2 Czech Republic.  It was the first time since 1964 that Ghana has beaten a European team, and in the brutal Group E (Italy, ranked 13, USA ranked 5), Ghana was the one team that wasn't supposed to have a chance.

For all American soccer football fans, this is good news.  After their opening-round flame-out against the Czechs, the US needed a little luck to keep their hopes alive for advancement.  Just one hour before their game with Italy kicks off (noon, ABC), they got it. 

But hey, if the US gets eliminated, I have another team to root for.  Mighty Ghana!

  • Idler (unverified)

    Ghana looked impressive. Great win.

    It's worth noting that in the unlikely event U.S. does sufficiently well against Italy to stay alive, it will face a weakened Ghana, due to players lost to accumulated yellow cards.

    It would be nice to see the U.S. advance, but I'll be quite happy to see Ghana go ahead, especially since it seems unlikely that any other African team will. Ivory Coast is a fine team but suffered from a tough draw. Would have been nice for Ivory Coast to be in Spain's group.

  • Gregory A Carlson (unverified)

    It's nice to see the underdog win but I don't see how this helps the US much. Realistically the US still has to win the next two to get out of the group. If anything it gives Italy even more incentive to wrap up this group with a win over the US today. The US still has a tough row to hoe here.

    Greg C

  • Dan (unverified)

    Halftime - US and Italy tied 1-1. It was looking good for the Yanks as they were up a man, but then the ref sent off one of their players, so we're back to even strength at 10 a side. I'm not confident the US can hold on to a tie or win, but they are playing better than in the Czech game. We'll see.

  • Idler (unverified)

    With a tie the U.S. is still alive.

    This was a historic performance. Even with the U.S. down two men (one unjustly) and with only nine players, the Italians couldn't beat them.

    They may not be in a great position, but they're still in this and they earned an important moral victory today.

  • (Show?)

    that had to be the worst reffing job in any major sporting event ever. neither US red card was justified, and few of the yellows on anyone. the game was absolutely butchered. and the only US offsides cost them the win.

    still, if Italy beats Czech Rep (probably) and the US beats Ghana, the US advances. bizarre. the improvements the US made today were huge. it looks like they are finding their stride and could do well if they do advance. no team looks dominating this far apart from Argentina. i think this Cup is still wide-open.

    Ghana was fun to watch, the best part being they seemed to have no understanding of the concept of "backwards". every pass they made went forward. they tried to score with each possession, and it paid off. i'd love to see that from the US (and England).

  • jami (unverified)

    the ref of the italy-u.s. match isn't qualified to officiate serbian youth leagues. the red cards on the americans were fouls, sure, but they were hardly even worthy of yellow cards.

    italy's blatant post-own elbow to mcbride's face, on the other hand... i's cool with that red card.

    i'm excited to see the u.s. play ghana, now that ghana has made the graceful czechs look like bumbling amateurs, and the u.s. has realized that going after the ball a little couldn't hurt.

  • activist kaza (unverified)

    Three cheers for fellow UP alum Kasey Keller's superb job in goal tonight. BTW, from over here in England (where I am at present), the officiating still looked questionable to the non-partisan Brit commentators.

    And Jeff, if you're looking for the ultimate underdog...what about Trinidad & Tobago? With a win over Paraguay on Tues. and a little help from England, the smallest nation ever represented in the World Cup finals would be through to the "knock-out" stage.

    Go Soca Warriors!

  • jami (unverified)

    keller was great! i didn't know he had portland-related program activities. cool.

  • (Show?)

    I wasn't able to get back to a computer yesterday, so I missed the chatter.

    Comments: The US played well, and it's a shame they couldn't pull out the win. I wasn't really sure who'd we see, so it was nice that a confident, aggressive team took the field. They probably looked forward to an easier game against Ghana than they may get, but it should be a fascinating 90 minutes.

    As for the officiating, I agree--that first US red card was a terrible call.

    I'll continue to pull for underdogs, which will make the US-Ghana game tough (in the scope of soccer, the US is an underdog, too). But I'm afraid, Mr. Kaza, that your Trinidadian team may not be around to root for in round two. Ghana, just slightly less of a long shot, may actually be. And Ghana played a fun style of soccer that I really enjoyed.

    As I write this, we're in the twentieth minute of the Brazil game. Samba time!

  • Rebel Dog (unverified)

    Actually, this is directly relevant to the blog.

    Ghana is a former British colony, known as the Gold Coast. One post-war agitator in the then Gold Coast was Kwame Nkrumah. In 1946 Nkrumah's "Towards Colonial Freedom" became one of the handbooks of the West African independence movement. Inevitably, the British refused to let the Gold Coast go. Nkrumah was imprisoned. He was released in 1949, campaigned for home rule and was sent back. In the 1951 election Nkruma, still in jail, was elected as an MP. He was let out and became, de facto, PM. In 1957 the Gold Coast became independent and renamed, Ghana.

    Imagine that, voting a guy out of jail and into the government. That's unimaginable here, today, though we seem to be good at going the other direction. Still inspriational though.

  • AggieJoke (unverified)

    Yeeeeeeeeeeehaaaaaaaaaaw! Gig 'em Ghana!

  • Abby Norml (unverified)

    Foregone conclusion. Nuremburg had to be bad karma for fascists.

  • (Show?)

    2-1 Ghana; US done, and in rather shabby fashion. Ironically, the US got what it needed in the Italy-Czech Republic game--they just failed to do their work.

    Okay, I'm all for Ghana now!

    (Or Mexico.)

    (Or Ukraine.)

    (Or Australia.)


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