WC2014 Ghana 1 – 2 USA

Americans wake up confused as they claim inaugural soccerball win over Ghana

Americans wake up confused as they claim inaugural soccerball win over Ghana

That Was A Bit Exciting

As you might say when you experience some unimaginable horror (like the Iran Nigeria match) and miraculously emerge unscathed. Despite having a  middle stint that best resembled a poorly run attack vs defense training drill, this match could not have been more different, as it exploded into life in the first and 82nd minutes.

Ghana might have the most psychedelic football strip since Stade Francais went all pop art in 2008, but rather than dazzling their opposition it seems to have had the opposite effect and stoned out the Ghanians.  Indeed, they had barely switched on after kick off by the time Clint Dempsey had  jinked past three defenders and calmly slotted the ball into the net. With a cute Romario flick and a couple of neat swivels, it was a thing of rare beauty, easily the equal of Messi’s goal earlier in the week.

After that, the Americans had to produce a lot of what Jurgen Klinsmann called ‘Grit’ to hold their lead, which they did with the kind of stubborn midtableness that, say, Crystal Pulis might. It was all organisation, organisation, organisation and they didn’t so much park the bus as circle the wagons, holding on for dear life before making occasional foreys into the Ghanain half as some kind of a distraction.

It looked like it would all be alright as Ghana demonstrated a complete lack of nous and ability to actually seriously threaten the American goal. Sure they had a lot of the ball, but every time they did some hothead would glibly attempt to shoot from 40 yards, a bit like a demented militiaman on their very first outing with dad’s favourite rocket launcher.

However, it seemed as if the American Dream was going to get crushed after Ghana executed their best move of the game, a beautiful backheel in the box freed up Andre Ayew to screw a shot low into the right corner. At this point it looked as if only Ghana could emerge as winners. But we hadn’t counted on that huge stock of ‘Grit’ Klinsmann had brought to the game.

The Americans dug deep  into Klinsy’s great Grit pile, ran up the other end of the pitch, forced a silly corner off Ghana and, in true movieworld fashion, won the game with a debut goal from their substitute. The entire West Coast of America then bundled in as squadrons of Hollywood producers, screenwriters and agents descended on the pitch in a desperate attempt to secure the rights for this astonishing, match winning performance.  With Portugal’s implosion, USA might actually make it out of this group.

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