- West Africa
Late goal lifts Ghana
A 85th minute penalty by Asamoah Gyan gives Black Stars a precious victory over Serbia
The Black Stars became the first African team to win a World Cup finals match on African soil, defeating Serbia thanks a late Asamoah Gyan penalty. The Rennes striker broke the deadlock 5 minutes from the end in a tight game.
And that’s it! Africa has bagged it’s first three points thanks to vice-African champions Ghana. A well earned victory in a difficult and close encounter. The ambitious Black Stars have started their South African campaign with a victory over 10-man Serbia.
But to get to those smiles, the Ghanaians had to fight long and hard against a well organised European squad, that beat France in their qualifying round to the 2010 World Cup.
Though the first half failed to produce any goals, both sides had great chances of scoring. Despite early intent from Serbia, it was the Black Stars who looked the more likely team to open the score line with clear attempts by Abedi Pele’s very own son, Andre Ayew, as well as Ghana’s lone striker, Asamoah Gyan or Kevin-Prince Boateng, also known as "the Ballack killer".
But the White Eagles reached South Africa thanks to a strong and well organised defense. And so it stood. By no means were Ghana dominating, despite their greater number of chances, but the Serbians were allowing openings to pass them by.
With quarter of an hour remaining, Aleksandar Lukovic, who had enjoyed a strong game in the heart of the defence, was guilty of a tug in the centre of the field while Ghana appeared to be going nowhere and was promptly shown a second yellow card, having been cautioned ten minutes after the restart.
This event was to be the beginning of the end for Serbia as their confidence plummeted. A few minutes later, it was Zdravko Kuzmanovic who had a moment of madness as he inexplicably handled a long cross in the box. Asamoah Gyan needed nothing less to convert his first real chance from the spot.
The Rennes striker almost added a second in injury time when his curling shot struck the post with Stokjovic beaten. But Ghana leave Pretoria with a very important victory.