Ghana live Africa's dream

Ghana has followed in the footsteps of Cameroon and Nigeria by qualifying for the final 16 of the World Cup after a 2-1 victory over the USA in Nuremberg.

    Bring on the Brazilians

    All the goals came in the first half as the Africans continued their free flowing style from their win against the Czech Republic.

    German referee Markus Merk once again left his mark on the game with a penalty decision in stoppage time which gave the Africans their half time lead that in the end proved to be the final margin.

    US defender Oguchi Onyemu's minimal contact with Ghanaian striker Razak Pimpong was punished in the harshest possible way when the man with the whistle pointed to the spot.

    Captain Stephen Appiah stepped up and sent the ball home to give his side back their lead.

    Australia’s Harry Kewell gave Merk both barrels at the end of his match against Brazil, and the USA must be looking at using a similar script after the referee's decision cancelled out the equaliser they had worked so hard for.

    It had come just two minutes prior when DaMarcus Beasley split the African defence and sent in a sublime cross that found Clint Dempsey who powered the ball home to even the scores.

    The New England Revolution midfielder put himself into the record books by scoring the 100th goal of the tournament.

    Ghana players surround the
    captain Stephen Appiah

    In the 22nd minute the Black Stars scored the opener when Red Star Belgrade midfielder Haminu Dramani stole the ball from the isolated USA captain Claudio Reyna before coolly slotting it past Borussia Monchengladbach goal keeper Kasey Keller.

    In the second half the Africans showed patience not normally attributed to teams from their continent as they slowed the pace of the game and soaked up the American attack.

    To be fair they didn’t have that much to do.

    Team USA struggled in coming forward, as they have the whole tournament, with their best chances coming from headers in a sustained attacking period just after one hour.

    First Fulham striker Brian McBride's diving header hit the post before hulking defender Onyemu saw his effort fly over the bar.

    Had the US landed either of those they would still have needed another goal and in the end it simply wasn't to be their day.

    The debutants though have at least one more game to plan for and it is likely to be against Brazil in Dortmund, a match that will no doubt grip the entire continent of Africa.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera


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