The World Cup 2010 United States-Ghana match went down in history as another devastating loss for the United States. The final score was 2-1, just as it was in the previous matchup between these teams the year before. The 2010 game went into fulltime, the time added to the end of a soccer match to compensate for lost time. After the win, Ghana went on to face Uruguay in the quarterfinals. At the time, it was hailed as the biggest match in U.S. soccer history.
This was the most-watched men's World Cup game in South Africa. It was the second-most in the United States, after the 1999 Women's World Cup final match between the United States and China at the Rose Bowl. The Nielson Co. said that the World Cup 2010 United States-Ghana match was seen by about 14.9 million viewers on ABC, with 4.5 million on Univision, a Spanish-language station. The 1999 Women's World Cup game had about 18 million viewers.
The United States, wearing all white, gave up an early goal in the fifth minute to Ghana, wearing red and yellow stripes. This was the third time in this World Cup that the States had given up a goal in the first 15 minutes of a match. The first goal in the World Cup 2010 United States-Ghana math was scored by Kevin-Prince Boateng with a left-footed shot from the top of the box. Later on, the goalkeeper, Tim Howard, said that he regretted missing the shot and that he should have been able to stop it.
Before the 20 minute mark, two U.S. players had received yellow cards. Ricardo Clark got his first for a violent and late tackle. Next was Steve Cherundulo for tripping Dede Ayew. Asamoah Gyan was blocked in the following penalty kick. Ghana continued to dominate for the first 30 minutes. They held most of the possessions and won most of the important midfield battles. Around this time, Ricardo Clark was taken out at midfield for Maurice Edu. The States were trailing 1-0 at halftime.
In the second half of the World Cup 2010 United States-Ghana match, the U.S. began showing their teeth. Their sluggishness and poor decision making had disappeared – they were making fast, clean passes and good choices. The Ghana team began showing signs of nervousness.
The U.S. team's hard work pays off in a penalty kick by Landon Donovan after he is tackled by Jonathan Mensah (who earns a yellow card for this) in the box. The shot bounces off the right post and into the goal. The Americans have the momentum at this point, giving the Ghana goalkeeper, Richard Kingson, a run for his money. Nothing comes of it, however, and the game enters a thirty-minute fulltime tied at 1-1.Only three minutes into fulltime, Asamoah Gyan scores a great goal for Ghana, sizzling the ball over the goalkeeper's hands. This was an abrupt end to the American domination of the second half of the match. They are unable to score for the rest of fulltime, bringing the World Cup 2010 United States-Ghana match to a close. This win was particularly impressive for Ghana, considering that they were missing their best player, Michael Essian.
Photo Credit: Nicholas Babaian