When the US face Ghana in the Round of 16, they will meet an African squad that have had trouble finding the back of the net. The Black Stars are yet to score from the run of play in this World Cup and were shut out 1-0 by Germany on Wednesday in their group finale.
“We’ve created wonderful chances to score but we had a bit of bad luck and we failed to hit home,” said Ghana manager Milovan Rajevac. “Perhaps we lacked a bit of concentration...I hope we can score goals going forward.”
The two occasions on which Ghana hit the back of the net in the 2010 World Cup came on penalty kicks converted by striker Asamoah Gyan.
Nonetheless, the Americans are forewarned, as the Ghanaians proved once again that they can move up the field quickly and can be deadly on the counter.
“It was a very difficult match, but we fought and it was enough to get us through,” said Ghana winger Andre Ayew. “We had opportunities but the important thing is that we went through.”
The lone goal in Wednesday’s Group D match came from Germany’s Mesut Ozil, who showed off his world-class skill on his left-footed volley that decided the game.
"I could have already made it 1-0 in the first half, so I was a bit annoyed with myself," Ozil said. "I was disappointed, but I knew that I would score a goal."
"I told [Ozil] in the halftime break, 'You've still got a goal in you,'" said German manager Joachim Loew. "This was an incredibly intense game and not many things worked out for us, but we have now reached the next stage...the Round of 16 game [vs. England] will be a class encounter. We are looking forward to it."
Ghana could very well be the only African team in the second round by the time the group stage is complete. It is expected that they will earn the sympathy of the local South Africans for as long as they survive in this tournament.
“I hope the majority of South Africans will continue to support us...I hope we will benefit from massive support here,” Rajevac said. “There is no time to celebrate, the next match is very close.”
The Black Stars date with the US is on Saturday, June 26 in Rustenburg.
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