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Ghana Take Africa's Hopes to Last 16 of World Cup

Published on Thursday 24th June 2010 Ghana Take Africa's Hopes to Last 16 of World Cup

Ghana lost 1-0 to Germany at Soccer City in their Group D clash at Soccer City on Wednesday, but still became the first, and probably the last, African side into the second round of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

The Black Stars finish runners-up in their pool and will now meet the United States in the Last 16 at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg on Saturday night, while Germany face a titanic battle against England in their knockout fixture in Bloemfontein the following day.

Today's match at Soccer City, Soweto, was entertaining, and in the end both sides got what they required, providing the 83,000 in attendance with some thrilling entertainment.

The first half could have ended 3-3 and it was a wonder that the teams went into the break without a goal being scored.

Mesut Oezil had the best chance of the half when he found himself one-on-one with Richard Kingson in the Black Stars goal, but the stopper saved the shot and the danger was cleared.

Asamoah Gyan had a header cleared off the line at the other end, while Andre Ayew paused when he should have shot. For the Germans, Philip Lahm went on a mazy run from right back that saw him beat four players before his shot was stopped.

Kwadwo Asamoah had a great opportunity to open the scoring early in the second period when he found space on the left of the box, but with just Manuel Neuer to beat, the keeper made a great save.

Ghana looked the more likely to score in the first 15 minutes of the second period, but a piece of brilliance from Germany and they were ahead.

Oezil chested the ball down on the edge of the area and sent a volley goalwards that was too much for Kingson as it nestled in the top corner. Might the keeper have done more? You would think so, but Germany had a precious lead.

Almost immediately it should have been 1-1 as Gyan brilliantly set up Ayew with a back-heel, but the forward's shot from just inside the area was somehow blocked by a lunging Lahm. Anthony Annan tested Neuer from range, but the save was comfortable.

With 10 minutes to go and news filtering through from Nelspruit that Australia were 2-0 up on Serbia, a scoreline that put both Ghana and Germany into the Last 16, the pace of the game slowed dramatically as both sides appeared to settle for the result.

The Serbians pulled a goal back in Nelspruit, but the match finished 2-1, and the Black Stars take Africa's hopes into the Last 16.

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