The U.S. World Cup dream came to a crashing end today in Hamburg when Ghana defeated the U.S., 2-1. Italy had defeated the Czech Republic, 2-0, to set up the possibility of the United States advancing with a win.
So much for the FIFA ranking system. The Czechs were ranked number 2 and the U.S. was ranked number 5 overall in the world at the start of the World Cup. Now both teams are going home, not having made it out of the first round.
Ghana scored first in the 22nd minute, and the U.S. tied it up on a goal by Clint Dempsey. But in added time before the end of the first half, a penalty kick was awarded to Ghana on a foul allegedly committed by Oguchi Onyewu. The replays looked as if the referee acted to hastily in awarding it, and Ghana converted it to put them up, 2-1.
The U.S. offense appeared to be non-existant throughout the World Cup, as Dempsey's goal was the first one they scored in three games (the other was an own goal by Italy). Landon Donovan and DaMarcus Beasley were no factors in the entire World Cup. Today the U.S. didn't appear to be in any state of urgency when they fell behind 1-0 and 2-1.
Ghana deserved today's win, and they are the giant killers so far in this World Cup. Congratulations to them for advancing to the second round, probably against Brazil. As for the United States, they made great strides in 2002 in Japan by making it to the quarterfinals. Now it's back to the drawing board for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Let the finger pointing begin.