Thursday, June 22, 2006

Second Half Diary U.S. v. Ghana

Second half is underway. Still no sight of a second forward to support McBride. ESPN just flashed a statistic that the U.S. is 0-13-1 when tralining at halftime in a World Cup match. U.S. is also 0-8-1 in World Cup matches and have been outscored 26-6 in those matches. Time to close the coffin on these bums.

Minute 50: so far nothing worth noting has happened in the second half. When will we see Eddie Johnson? This guy Arena is a prized fool for playing 4-5-1 in this match.

Minute 54: Corner kick for the U.S. but before that a Ghana player goes down. More time wasting by the Africans. He gets up just before the stretcher gets there. The U.S. corner amounts to nothing and Ghana counterattacks and forces Keller to make a good save. Corner to Ghana.

Minute 58: When is Arena going to make a substitution to change the game? Still playing with one forward and not really getting anything going forward. Ghana is just sitting back and defending and counterattacking. Ghana takes off a forward and adds another midfielder so the numbers are even in midfield now.

Minute 60: On comes Johnson for Cherundolo. Now the U.S. is playing with two forwards let's see if this changes the game at all.

Minute 63: Ghana attacking once more but Dramani doesn't play the ball across the box into the path of the open forward. Wasted opportunity by Ghana.

Minute 66: U.S. aatacks down the left and McBride has a golden opportunity but he puts his header off the post. That's more like it from the U.S. They're starting to put Ghana on the backfoot in this last half hour of the game. They still need two goals to move on. Bocanegra takes a shot from outside the box which is deflected out for a coner. Donovan takes and Onyewu puts his header over the bar.

Minute 68: The 4-4-2 formation has really changed the game for the U.S. if the lose you have to wonder why Arena didn't start the game like this.

Minute 70: Three straight U.S. attacks have come to an end because of offsides. Ghana is executing the offside trap really well.

Minute 72: Goal kick by Ghana ends up in a shooting opportunity for Appiah who had Keller beat at the far post but the shot was deflected by Conrad.

Minute 74: In comes Bobby Convey off goes Eddie Lewis. More fresh legs for the U.S.

Minute 76: More time wasting by the Ghanaians. Dramani goes down. The refs says there's no foul. Dramani stays down and the clock continues to run. Dramani is really milking this now as he's being stretchered off.

Minute 79: Ghana are masters of timewasting at this point. The keeper is fouled and he stays down for a good two minutes. Time is running out on the U.S. They've scored 1 goal in 260 minutes of the World Cup now they need two in the last 10 minutes.

Minute 81: Bobby Convey is fouled outside the box by Mensah. Donovan takes the free kick and sends it well high and wide of the target. Absolutely rubbish. Get him outta there.

Italy Update: Italy now leads 2-0 on a goal from Pipo Inzaghi. Pipo beats the offside trap from midfield and rounds the keeper to put Italy up 2-0. Looks like Italy will advance as group leaders.

Minute 86: more timewasting from Ghana. Pingpong goes down and is stretchered off. He mliks another minute off the clock. This is comical at this point. The U.S. are losing 2-1. They need to throw everyone forward right now. THey can't worry about giving up another goal becuase 2-1 might as well be 3-1. Either way you're still going home.

Minute 90: The referee has added 5 minutes of stoppage time. That's a bit much but it looks like he's making up for all the timewasting by Ghana in regular time. Even in extra time Ghana is wasting time. Appiah picks up a yellow card for wasting time. Three minutes of stoppage time gone. Ghana only has to hold on for two minutes and they will likely face Brazil.

Minute 90: Game over. Ghana wins 2-1. Ghana advances with Italy from this group. A few Ghana players fall to their knees and kiss the turf and pray. The U.S. and Czech Republic will be going home. They are probably the biggest disappointments of the tournament thus far. I'm off to work.

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