[USA-GHANA REPORT CARD] A game both teams needed to win for any chance of reaching the knockout stage provided end-to-end action but Ghana proved far more lethal and downed the USA, 4-1. Soccer America's Mike Woitalla grades the U.S. players in their final game of the 2013 U-20 World Cup.
Goalkeeper Cody Cropper made a couple of excellent saves -- on Lawrence Lartey in the first half and Frank Acheampong in the second -- but he misjudged the corner kick that Ebenezer Assifuah headed home for Ghana’s third goal and was nutmegged on the fourth goal by Kennedy Ashia.
Defenders DeAndre Yedlin, Shane O’Neill and Juan Pablo Ocegueda each cleared goal-bound shots before Ghana, which outshot the USA 25-10, hit the net in the 38th minute after a penalty-area scramble.
Caleb Stanko, back in the lineup in central defense after sitting out the 1-1 tie with France, let Assifuah beat him to the ball on the corner-kick goal.
The Americans did produce some offense against the Black Stars. Mario Rodriguez headed poorly after a precisely delivered cross from Yedlin in the 13th minute and shot too weakly after a swift move to elude a Ghanaian defender in the 27th minute.
Jose Villarreal, who spearheaded the 4-2-3-1 formation was more active than in the first two games. His long-distance shot forced a diving save from Eric Antwi in the 28th minute and Villarreal delivered the cross for O’Neill’s headed goal in the 69th minute. Villarreal's scissors kick in the 88th minute off a Daniel Cuevas pass flew a foot wide.
A minute before his goal, O’Neill shot straight to Antwi on a golden chance.
The Americans actually had 52 percent of the possession over the 90 minutes and a 9-6 edge in corner kicks. But the Black Satellites much more frequently penetrated the U.S. penalty area.
USA PLAYER RATINGS
4 Cody Cropper (Southampton/ENG)
6 DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders)
4 Caleb Stanko (Freiburg/GER)
6 Shane O’Neill (Colorado Rapids)
5 Juan Pablo Ocegueda (Guadalajara/MEX)
5 Mikey Lopez (Sporting KC)
4 Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew)
4 Oscar Sorto (LA Galaxy)
4 Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake)
5 Mario Rodriguez (Kaiserslautern/GER)
6 Jose Villarreal (LA Galaxy)
5 Danny Garcia (FC Dallas)
6 Daniel Cuevas (Santos/MEX)
nr Victor Pineda (Chicago Fire)
(1=low; 5=average; 10=high.)
June 27 in Kayseri, Turkey
Ghana 4 USA 1.
Goals: Acheampong 38, Assifuah 58, Assifuah 78, Ashia 83; O’Neill 69.
USA -- Cropper; Yedlin (Cuevas, 54), Stanko, O’Neill, Ocegueda; Lopez (Garcia, 46), Trapp; Sorto, Gil, Rodriguez (Pineda, 79); Villarreal.
Ghana -- Antwi; Attamah, Rahman Baba, Acheampong (Ofori, 89), Salifu, Aboagye, Nketiah, Lartey, Assifuah, Odjer (Ashia, 74), Boakye (Narh, 74).
Yellow cards: USA -- Yedlin 30; Ghana -- Moses Odjer 40, Ashia 84, Lartey 85.
Referee: Nawaf Shukralla (Bahrain).