Brazil 2014 World Cup | Ghana vs USA

…and so, the final game of the night begins against Ghana and the United States of America. Before I get started on this blog post to round off tonight, here are some words from Thierry Henry, Danny Murphy and Clarence Seedorf, who are on the live stream of BBC Sport’s website.

Thierry Henry: “I believe the United States have the strength to compete. They’re well organised, difficult to beat and Clint Demspey and Jozy Altidore can score goals. They can keep the ball and can play longer with Altidore. They can compete and they have the quality to do it. It’s World Cup time so it’s a big deal there at the moment. It’s difficult to complete with basketball and American football but it’s getting better. From when I went there to now it’s changed.”

Danny Murphy: “Whoever loses this game is going home. What that should mean is that we get an entertaining game with both teams going for it. Clint Dempsey‘s a winner, he’s probably the best trainer I ever played with. He was always looking to improve. I’m not sure where he’ll play tonight but he used to do most of his best damage coming off wide areas. He’s a special player because he’s not naturally gifted but he looks gifted because of his application. If the USA are going to do anything it will come through him.”

Clarence Seedorf: “He is a talent but why go to the UAE so early? I believe he can score and I believe he can be a big threat in the tournament.”

Ghana 1-1 USA

WOW…USA scored almost a minute into the game, I’m actually quite shocked. (Clint Dempsey)

Robbie Savage: “Incredible start. What a finish, a little nutmeg, he opens up his body and puts it in off the post. Unbelievable start for the USA. They are on the front foot and driving forward.”

Jason Roberts: “What a start for the USA. Dempsey’s a natural goal-scoring midfielder, he can play number 10 and when he gets in those positions it’s always a cool head.”

Joshua Stupple: “Credit to USA, they know they’re a long-term project and put trust in Jurgen Klinsmann. I would love the FA to wake up and do the same.”

Danny Duggan: ” I can’t believe how much pace the USA have. What a start.”

Robbie Savage: “It is very condensed in the middle of the park for Ghana. The space is out wide, they need to keep switching the ball.”

Dan from Newcastle via text: “And it’s a touchdown in the first 30 seconds of the 1st quarter! Outstanding start to the World Soccer Series as Clint Dempsey advances into the end zone before rifling the soccerball between the sticks! Go USA! Or something to that effect.”

Robbie Savage: “The ball was a bit behind Altidore, he has to do better than that though. Wayne Rooney gets hammered for missing a chance like that, in fact that was an easier chance. He only scored one goal in the Premier League last season.”

Jason Roberts: “It looks like Jozy Altidore’s hamstring has popped. I’ve had a few of those in my career and it looks like that will be his tournament over. People don’t recognise the importance of players like Jozy Altidore. He holds the ball up, stretches the defence, makes it uncomfortable and he will have been important to Clint Dempsey.”

Robbie Savage: “You don’t like to see that from Jurgen Klinsmann, signalling an elbow when it was the player’s boot that connected with Clint Dempsey. Poor from the USA manager.”

Dempsey

Credit: BBC Sport

Gary Lineker: “Clint Dempsey may have tasted boot, but he can comfort himself in the fact that he’s the first American to score in three separate World Cups.”

Jason Roberts: “The United States need to take care of the details. They got the early goal but now they’re camped in their own half and they’re struggling to get forward.”

Robbie Savage: “Ghana have to up the tempo. It is too slow and it is too condensed at the moment for them going forward. In the final third Ghana have been poor, the crosses have been poor and they haven’t created anything against an organised USA side. The USA aren’t the greatest team I’ve ever seen – just have a go at them.”

THE FIRST HALF WAS GREAT, DESPITE A 0-1 GOAL SCORE FOR THE USA.

NOW HALF TIME…WILL BE BACK SHORTLY. STAY TUNED TO THIS LIVE BLOG FEED :-).

During Half Time:

Thierry Henry: “I thought after the first goal we were going to have a crazy first half, but it wasn’t to be. As we predicted though, the United States are a very organised side.”

Jason Roberts: “Ghana haven’t created chances. The United States deserve the lead because they started so well. Ghana need more creativity. They haven’t really come up with anything different and that’s the challenge now. They haven’t found that spark. The USA have got a good defensive record, they’re a physical side, they’re strong and they can keep clean sheets. They’re doing a good job of defending this lead.”

Clarence Seedorf: “It’s played out so well for the USA. They had a really aggressive first minute but their organisation is spot on. It’s going to be hard for Ghana in the second half.”

Danny Murphy: “Clint Dempsey is so good at picking up these positions in behind and drifting over to the left. He’s inventive. I was really pleased for him and you could see the joy in his face when he scored. It meant they could sit deep, use the two banks of four and other than that late chance, Ghana haven’t created anything.”

Action Areas

Ghana attacks

Ghana might be creating few chances, but they are clearly targeting the right hand side as they look to haul themselves back into this, with 46% of their attacks coming down that flank, Christian Atsu at the heart of most of them.

KICK OFF, SECOND HALF NOW BEGINS.

LeBron James returned to Facebook rooting for the USA: “Now that’s how you start a match!! Clint Dempsey Goal!!!!” which he wrote in his first posts after having his social media absence for the playoffs.

Robbie Savage: “The game is crying out for Ghana’s Kevin-Prince Boateng. When is Akwasi Appiah going to use him?”

Jason Roberts: “Gyan was stretching but he’ll be disappointed not to hit the target with that. Maybe it hit the ‘three’ on his head. Now Ghana are starting to dictate a little bit more. They’re switching it from side to side rather than just attacking down the right.”

Gyan
Credit: BBC Sport

“Kevin-Prince Boateng is someone who can create. He’s a bit of a maverick but he will bring something a bit different.

“There’s a reason why the USA aren’t getting out of their half. It’s why you miss someone like Jozy Altidore. It’s not just about goals, playing on your own up front is about helping your team and sacrificing yourself and that’s not happening for the USA, Aron Johansson has to offer more.”

Robbie Savage: “Kevin-Prince Boateng has created a spark. He has got the Ghana fans going behind the goal, drums are being banged. Asamoah Gyan has to take one of these chances.”

“Michael Essien’s introduction might just let Sulley Muntari push on. Muntari can maybe have more influence with that left foot.”

Bob Partridge: I think USA will have the discipline to hold out long range efforts won’t beat Howard.

Dai: The US just need to close the game out, take their time, pass it around the back a bit.

Adam Brooks: Boateng has made the world of difference… Was he injured? Why didn’t he start?

Robbie Savage: “The heat and the humidity is now starting to affect some of these USA players.”

Jason Roberts: “I was surprised Michael Essien didn’t’ start. He’s got quality, he can find passes and can compete physically. Now we’ll see what he can bring to the game because Kevin-Prince Boateng has brought something. Albert Adomah is a non-League boy like myself so what an opportunity to play for his country in a game like this. He is a box of tricks and he can conjure something out of nothing. The opportunity is there for Ghana.”

Robbie Savage: “The United States’s defender John Brooks just switched off. A fantastic back-heel by Asamoah Gyan and the defenders couldn’t get out to close the ball down. A wonderful finish from Andre Ayew.”

Jason Roberts: “It has been coming and it’s an incredible goal for Ghana. They will have their eyes on three points now. It was a really clever finish.”

Ghana score a 1-1 goal against USA (Andre Ayew – 82′)

USA just scored another goal, 2-1 goal score, minutes after Ghana just scored their own equaliser against the USA (John Brooks – 86′)

Robbie Savage: “It was the tenacity of Fabian Johnson to win the corner. John Brookes can’t believe it, it was a great diving header. He can’t believe it, he looks like he has got the winner.”

Jason Roberts: “When you score the goal the last thing you want to do is give away a cheap corner. That ball is as good as it gets, it drops right in the box and Brooks attacks it like a man who knows if he gets anything on it he’s going to score. Just get it cleared, give the throw-in away if you need to but this costs you, especially when you’ve just scored, and there’s nothing more frustrating for a team.”

Josh Jackman: Ghana do heartbreak like no-one else.

Ricky Michael: So cruel at times, football.

James Thompson: I looked at the worried look on the Ghana manager’s face and knew it was going to be a goal from the corner.

…and that’s it for tonight!!! The USA have now got the win in the bag now the match has concluded at Full Time.

Thank you for reading this blog feed. I will make sure to continue posting more later on today :-).

-Alex Smithson

(All credit goes to BBC Sport for the information and pictures)

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