15 June 2014

Ghana Versus USA - Anglo-Saxon Clash of Rivals

Photo: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix
Asamoah Gyan celebrates his and Ghana's only goal in the match with Brazil.

Both teams will be meeting at the final phase of the competition for the third time consecutively.

The Black Stars of Ghana will this night make their debut at the final phase of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil by clashing against the United State of America. The encounter to take place at the Das Dunas stadium in Natal will be handled by Swedish referee Jonas Eriksson.

It will not be the first time the two national teams are meeting at the final phase of the World Cup. The first time both teams met was in 2006 in Germany and the second confrontation was in 2010 in South Africa, with Ghana winning both encounters on 2-1 score.

If one was to go by history, then most sports analysts can rightly say without any fear of contradiction that fans of the West African country should start preparing their drums for celebrations. But since football is round for both teams, and has no formula, both sides and fans should set the stage for surprises might sprout from either side.

This is because tactically Ghana has always been a very strong competitor when it comes to international competitions. Apart from the traditional 4-4-2, that has brought them fame in the African continent at both club and national level, most of the coaches that have filed past the dressing room for the last decade, have adopted the 3-5-2 style of play. It is thanks to this system that they registered their best performance in 2010 by attaining the quarter-finals of the World Cup.

The youthfulness of the team not withstanding, the midfield is also well compact with veteran Michael Essien, impacting his experience both in and out of the pitch. The overlapping left and right half backs are very consistent upfront with juicy crosses. At the attack the Ayews, Boateng and Gyan are powerful enough to unsettle any opposition. Thus, by 23 p .m local time today, the uncompromising head coach Kwesi Appiah would have instill in them the last psychological doses of a conquering Ghana capable of rewriting history.

On the other hand, the United States of America though not a super power in soccer might not allow history to repeat itself. After losing twice in their last confrontations, head coach Jurgen Klinsmann believes its time to put an end to the soccer malaise.

'For today's encounter the German trainer who says "It is a must-win match if the United States have any chance of progressing to the second round", might need to shift from his preferred 4-2-3-1 tactics, which entails moving from a compact midfield to a flexible 4-2-2-2 in order to multiply scoring chances and contain the onslaught of the pivotal Ghanaian attack..

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