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USA vs Ghana – Americans to prove the pundits wrong

| 25.06.2010

An array of fine football pundits have spent the last twenty years telling us all, that it’s only a matter of time before the USA get to a World Cup final. A different array of equally fine ex-pros have been forecasting that Africa will have its first winner, sooner rather than later. Well tomorrow evening, someone will be looking stupid.

Both sides were fairly fortunate to stumble into the knock-out rounds. America were only ahead for 120 seconds of one fixture in their three group matches, whilst both Ghana’s goals to date have come from the penalty spot, awarded for handball. Incidentally, a converted penalty at any time inside the 90 minutes is priced at 2/1.

Such stodgy group form from both these sides makes this game particularly difficult to call, and the draw after 90 minutes at 23/10 should prove popular.

Of course, the match is a repeat of a fixture played in Germany 2006, when Ghana clinched qualification from Group E by beating the States 2-1. Clint Dempsey scored for the USA that day, and he is 5/2 to find the net at any stage tomorrow evening.

In each World Cup since 1986, there has been one African team in the knockout phase. But only Cameroon in 1990, and Senegal in 2002 (both teams that beat the holders in the opening game) have managed to win their Round of 16 fixture. In ’06, it was again Ghana who were the sole torch-bearers for Africa at this stage, yet they completely froze on the day, and were spanked 3-0 by Brazil.

In the last World Cup, only two group winners went out in Round 2, and the momentum and confidence that late winner against Algeria gave the US, could carry them through. Finishing above England was hard work – it probably won’t go to waste. Expect the Confederation Cup runners-up to end the African dream for another four years.

Do you think it will be the USA or Ghana who make that big breakthrough? A USA win in extra time is 11/1. See the full USA vs Ghana match betting market.



Ed Needham