Saturday, June 26, 2010

Ghana kicks USA out of World Cup 2-1 in extra time

And the USA's journey is over, while it's wonderful to see an African nation to go through to the quarter-finals, you can't help but feel sad for the Americans.

June 26, 2010 - Rustenburg, South Africa - epa02224556 Ghana's Kevin Prince Boateng (L) scores a goal during the FIFA World Cup 2010 Round of 16 match between USA and Ghana at Royal Bafokeng stadium in Rustenburg, South Africa, 26 June 2010.
Boateng scoring the first goal for Ghana
USA - Ghana

Ghana started well right away, a goal after just five minutes from Kevin Prince Boateng made the stadium erupt in cheers from the African support. Ricardo Clark gave the ball away in the American half, and Boateng snaked his way around DeMerit to then bury the ball into the bottom left corner. The USA were unable to fight against Ghana's neat and tidy possession game, and they had to have a team talk at halftime from Bob Bradley before they turned it on in the second half.

USA began to push, and eventually Dempsey was brought down in the area earning the USA a penalty. Donovan stepped up to take it and pinged it in off of the right post to equalize the score at 1-1. The Americans pushed but they couldn't break down the Ghanaian defense and score before the end of the 90 minutes.

June 26, 2010 - Rustenburg, South Africa - epa02224567 Ghana's Kevin Prince Boateng (R) celebrates his goal with teammate Asamoah Gyan (L) during the FIFA World Cup 2010 Round of 16 match between USA and Ghana at Royal Bafokeng stadium in Rustenburg, South Africa, 26 June 2010.
The two scorers Gyan and Boateng celebrating
Ghana came out to win in extra time, and just three minutes in Gyan scored a wonderful goal to make it 2-1. A long ball which he chested down as he sprinted past the last two USA defenders to then lash a dipping volley over Howard and into the back of the net. While the USA pushed, they just couldn't complete yet another epic comeback, Howard went up for the corners, and the entire team wanted it, but in the end, the black stars go through to play Uruguay in the quarter finals.

Uruguay win 2-1 over Korea Republic to advance to Quarter-Finals

Uruguay have made history again, they did it in 1930 by hosting and winning the first World Cup ever. In 1950 they won it again in Brazil with one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history, they beat Brazil 2-1 in the final. When Ghiggia scored the winner, the Maracana stadium went silent; they couldn't believe it, the mighty Brazil beaten by Uruguay. Before the match, Brazilian officials had already made the gold medals with the Brazilian player's names on them, and after the game, Brazil changed the color of their kit to the gold and green because they deemed the previous kit to be haunted.

Uruguay also made history by being the first team to introduce African-Uruguayans to the World Cup. Many other countries who now rely on players with roots from Africa found this wrong, but Uruguay made history with the introduction of players of African descent.

So it's wonderful to see Uruguay, a nation with so much history in soccer, advance to the quarter-finals and play the winner of USA - Ghana.

June 26, 2010 - Port Elizabeth, South Africa - epa02223897 Uruguay's Luis Suarez scores the 1-0 lead for his team during the FIFA World Cup 2010 Round of 16 match between Uruguay and South Korea at the Nelson Mandela Bay stadium in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, 26 June 2010.
Uruguay - Korea Republic

Korea Republic started well, just five minutes in Park Chu-Young clipped the post with a curling free kick, but they conceded three minutes later. Luis Suarez nips in at the back post on Forlan's cross which goal-keeper Jung Sung-Ryong was unable to stop. Uruguay then began to play defensively as Korea Republic pressed to find the equalizer.

Eventually, Korea Republic found the equalizer after Muslera came out but didn't punch the ball away as Lee Chung-Yong headed it into the open net. Uruguay now didn't want to go to extra time against a fit and fast Korean team, and so ten minutes from the 90th Luis Suarez creates a magnificent goal. Inside the box with two defenders on him, Suarez makes some space for himself and curls a beautiful shot which pings off of the far post and into the back of the net. An epic winner which allows Uruguay to move on to the quarter-finals.


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