And like that, the United States run in the 2006 World Cup is over. Four years of hard work is down the drain as the US Men's National Team scored only one goal in their three-game German experience. Ghana eliminated the United States in group play today by defeating them 2-1 and Italy defeated the Czech Republic 2-0. The lone American goal of the tournament was scored by Clint Dempsey in the 43rd minute of today's game. The game was filled with fouls (nearly 50 for both teams, but Ghana by a 2:1 ratio), including a controversial one towards the end of the first half which resulted in a penalty kick goal for Ghana. The penalty kick proved to be the deciding goal in the US loss.
With Italy's defeat of the Czech Republic in the other Group E game, the Czech Republic was also eliminated in group play. The elimination of the Czech Republic is a huge shock as few expected Ghana to advance out of the Group E, especially with the highly ranked Czechs (#2 in the world) and Americans (#5) as well as the storied Italian team (#13). But as we all learn, FIFA's rankings mean nothing when it comes down to how a team will perform in the World Cup.
Ghana's reward for advancing? A probable Round of 16 game against Brazil.