Recaps and game analysis to follow one or two hours after each match.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Game 7: Serbia vs Ghana

Let me begin by saying I am now a Ghana fan. The fans were great, they played attractive soccer, but most of all, the kids were happy to be there. From the moment of the national anthems, down to the final whistle there were constant smiles all around, the thoughts of "amazing, we get to play in the World Cup!" circulating through the team, the team played with heart, and I commend them for that.

Now on to the analysis.

Despite the low score, and the two non-powerhouse teams, this was a very exciting game. Both sides were hungry for a victory, and unlike the game right before (see Algeria vs Slovenia), Ghana and Serbia kept pushing against each other, taking shots, creating breakaways, excellent spot kicks, you name it and there it was. However, what kept this game from easily being a four to three scoreline was the tremendous defense from both sides.

Gyan through on goal? Vidic heroically steps in front and clears the ball. Zigic trying to head the ball off of a cross? Mensah is equal to it. Now, I expected a tough defense from Serbia, but Ghana surprised me. Without Essien I thought the youthful bunch would be an attacking nightmare, but they were very balanced.

Unfortunately for Serbia, they were to become victimized when Lukovic received a second yellow in the seventy-fifth minute, dropping Serbia down to ten men. Ghana would take advantage and keep pressing, until finally Serbia made a mistake, when Kuzmanovic executes a clear hand ball on a ball lobbed into the box, immediately the referee calls for the penalty, which Gyan scores with ease.

Poor Serbia will be disappointed by this result, but they should take pride in that they did play well. There only main weakness was their lack for goalscoring, with the six-foot-eight Zigic having little to no impact on the game. Ghana on the other hand still had the occasional defensive lapse, but that could be chalked up to first-game nerves. However, on the whole, I was very impressed by both teams, it's a shame that with Germany in the group that only one of these teams will be likely to make it to the second round.

Final Score: Serbia 0 - 1 Ghana

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