- West Africa
Ghana stumble to 10-man Australia
The Black Stars failed to step a foot in the last 16
Ghana will be disappointed as they drew 1-1 with 10-man Australia after forward Harry Kewell was dismissed for handling on the line. The Black Stars have put themselves in a very difficult situation now because they are playing a Germany team who need to win in their last game.
For Africa’s 100th World Cup game, Ghana had a chance to put a foot in the last 16 with a win over Australia. But the Aussies had something else in mind : it was time for the Socceroos to show that they are not as bad a football team as the Germans made them out to be. As captain Lucas Neill put it, « We are driven by failure. We are driven by the fear of not winning a game and not getting out of this group. We got together after the Germany game and said we are not going to go out with a fizzle. »
Truer words were never spoken as the Socceroos took the best of a decent start. Profiting from another goalkeeper howler, Brett Holman tapped the ball from close range after Mark Bresciano’s right-foot shot bounced in front of Richard Kingson (11’).
The goal looked like it had just affected Ghana, coming as it did at a time when they were starting to get a foothold in the game. Thankfully for Africa’s chances, the Black Stars were set to shine. On the 25th minute, and what could might have been the turning point of the game, a Ghana cross from the right found Jonathan Mensah and his goalbound shot hit Harry Kewell on the line. It seemed to hit a combination of his chest and right arm but Italian referee Roberto Rosetti points to the spot and shows Kewell a straight red. Asamoah Gyan steps up and confidently slots home the penalty.
But it was no game-changer, as the Americans put it. In fact, apart from Boateng hitting a goalbound right-foot drive that is heading for the bottom corner until Mark Schwarzer gets down superbly to tip it behind, Ghana looked dull. Worse, it didn’t look like they wanted (could ?) win this game against ten brave Aussies.
Save from a last minute rush, the Black Stars didn’t shine and nearly let Australia one up them as striker Kennedy and Chipperfield were brought on the field and raised havoc in a surprinsingly weak Ghana defense.
All over and all-square. Ghana will surely be kicking themselves as they’ve failed to profit from their man advantage, while Australia deserve much credit for the way they performed with 10 men. Certainly makes for an interesting last round of fixtures in the group, though, as all four teams can still progress.