BY Josh Odoi, 11:24pm June 16, 2014,

Africa’s Darkest Day at World Cup: Ghana Loses as Nigeria Draws, Dashing Hopes of Continent

United States' Maurice Edu reacts following the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between the United States and Ghana at Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg, South Africa, Saturday, June 26, 2010. Ghana won 2-1 in extra time, advancing to the World Cup quarterfinals. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

Maurice Edu

A dejected Maurice Edu lies on the field and covers his eyes after the United States loses to Ghana in the World Cup quarterfinals.

It seemed as though Ghana was composed enough to go on and win their match against the United States in the final minutes of the match until 21-year-old substitute defender John Anthony Brooks headed home a heart breaking goal for the United States to capture all three points in the Group G opener. The winning goal came from a U.S. corner kick, when the Ghanaian defensive marking was virtually non-existent. This lapse in defensive concentration cost Ghana the match and the effect of that mistake in the 86th minute could be a deciding factor in whether they qualify in the Group of Death or not.

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An earlier goal from the United States’ Clint Dempsey in the 31st second shell shocked the Black Stars of Ghana who had expected an easy ride against their familiar World Cup opponent. Ghana, quarter finalist from the last World Cup, had better exchanges in possession play.

Ghana fought back pressing the United States for an equalizer for the remainder of open play time and were rewarded with a dazzling Asamoah Gyan back-heel that was converted by Andre Ayew for goal in 82nd minute.

After the equalizer, everyone expected Ghana to go on and win the game with a lot of momentum on their side, but a lapse in concentration from their defenders gave Jurgen Klinsmann’s team all 3 points in their first game in Natal.

A superb downward header in the 86th minute was difficult for Ghana’s keeper Adam Kwarasey to stop.

Per the analysis that has been done on Ghana, they are in huge trouble with two of the group’s favorites, Portugal and German, still to play.

Nigeria vs. Iran

Nigeria vs. iran

In other news, Nigeria shared points with Iran.  This was the first goalies draw of World Cup 2014. Stephen Keshi’s side was expected to take the day without any problems, and even though the Super Eagles of Nigeria played better overall, they were toothless upfront.

Iran has to be delighted with a draw from the African Champions. They were lucky to have had a disallowed 7 minute goal from Nigeria’s Ahmed Musa as Ecuadorian referee Carlos Vera ruled it out for a foul against their goalkeeper Alireza Haghighi committed by John Mikel Obi.

The West African teams still have a chance to live up to expectations and lift the continent’s spirit up. Some football pundits recognized that the United States would be Ghana’s toughest opponent, with the two marking history in the World Cup. Time will tell whether the worst might be over for Ghana in this ever exciting World Cup.

Ghana plays Germany on Saturday June 21st, whiles Nigeria takes on Bosnia and Herzegovina on that same day.


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