RealClearSports
Advertisement

The Cup Running Over


June 26, 2010 5:02 PM

Instant Round of 16 Review: Ghana Outlasts the US

SCORE: Ghana 2, USA 1 (aet)

TURNING POINT: Halftime, as once again with the US, it was a game of two halves. Horrible in the first half, inspired in the second. Even the two halves of overtime seemed to fit the pattern, more or less.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Going in, we said that Ghana keeper Richard Kingson and striker Asamoah Gyan needed to have superlative games for Ghana to win. They did.

BIGGEST SURPRISE: With any other team, it would have been conceding a goal in the first few minutes (even in the overtime!) but with the US, of course, it's not that unusual. What was hard to explain was the US starting lineup: Ricardo Clark in midfield, instead of Maurice Edu, who played well last game? Robbie Findley at striker, even though he's unlikely to find the net? US coach Bob Bradley made some excellent substitutions and tactical changes that helped bring the team back but the starting lineup was one reason why the US came out so flat this time around. And the early subs is one reason why the US had no gas at the end.

BIGGEST NO-SHOW: The American defense in the first half. In international soccer, against a good team, you cannot give attackers as much space as the American defenders did. Ghana's attackers had enough time to control the ball, look upfield, think about where to pass the ball, wave at friends in the crowd, check messages on their iphones, . . . .

IF THE GAME WERE A ROLLING STONES SONG IT WOULD BE: The Last Time

A Member Of