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The big upset June 18, 2006

Posted by Aniket in Aniket, Football WC.
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Just when it seemed that the African challenge at the world cup was coming to an end with Ivory Coast crashing out, Ghana showed the world that there is a lot of talent in Africa & that no african side can be considered to be easy meat. Their 2-0 win over the Czechs, who were outstanding in their first match, means that they have taken a huge step towards qualifying for the last 16 & in the process have thrown the group wide open.
    Early goals always make a huge difference to any football game & today was no different. The Africans caught the Czechs off-guard by scoring as early as the 2nd minute – a brilliant strike from Gyan Asamoah. After that though the Czechs attacked occasionally, Ghana seemed to be in control & never had any serious trouble till halftime. After the break, the Czechs appeared refreshed and had a few good chances but good defending from the Africans, along with some outstanding tackling, meant that a goal remained elusive for the Czechs. Ghana never stopped attacking though and if it weren't for Petr Cech's brilliance in goal, it could have easily been 4-0 or even worse. They even won a penalty which Gyan failed to convert but didnt make much of a difference. However, here Ujfalusi got sent off for needlessly arguing with the referee & the Czechs were down to 10 men. The Czechs still carried on attacking with Ghana content to counter-attack. And on one such well built-up attack, Ghana got their second goal via a well struck shot by Sulley Muntari. After that, even the Czechs knew the match was gone, though they did get two good headers on goal towards the end, both of them were saved by Kingson, the Ghanaain goalie who seemed pretty reliable.
    What this means is that Ghana now seem to be favourites to qualify while the Czechs will have to win their last game against Italy to stand a chance of qualifying. The Azzuris shouldn't have too much trouble against the Yanks but they should try to score as many goals as possible, as there is a possiblity that the group may be decided on goal difference. But a win for the Czechs seems to be an uphill task, as they will be without Lokvenc, Koller & Baros for the last game. That leaves them without a good striker upfront and the Italian defence is not exactly known for its generousity. So the Czechs might well be going home very soon, but for today lets celebrate a great Ghana victory and a great game of football. 

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