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'Stunning' Ghana Thumps Czech Republic

The United States owes a lot to a stunning performance by Ghana that it still has any hope to qualify for the second round of the World Cup. Ghana played explosive soccer in Cologne yesterday, completely dominating the same Czech midfield that ran the USA ragged just a week ago. An early goal two minutes in set the tone of the game, and the Ghanaians seemed to draw strength from their lead as time went on. In fact, by the end of the game they produced so many chances that the 2-0 score proved flattering for the Czechs. It is by no means a foregone conclusion that the USA will beat this team, which looks to be by far the strongest team left from Africa. The Czechs, humbled in defeat, admitted to being outplayed. "Our opponent showed extraordinary quality. We couldn't cope," said Karel Bruckner, the coach of the Czech Republic. The Czechs now need a result against Italy if they want to qualify for the next phase of the tournament. Should they get that result, it will have been with a severely depleted squad that's missing each of its strikers through injury or suspension, as well as several key midfielders.

Read the whole story at The Associated Press »

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