Ghana surge past Czech Republic in Group E
Saturday, June 17, 2006
Ghana beat the Czech Republic by two goals with a powerful attacking display in Köln, Saturday.
The Czech Republic had Tomas Ujfalusi sent off after 66 minutes but in this game Ghana had the best of the chances over the 90 minutes.
The African team played short quick passes as well as long ones and had relentless energy. They commanded the field with their physical presence.
With 10 minutes left some sides up by a single goal would hold the ball near the opponent's corner flag to run down the clock. Ratomir Dujkovic's side, at 25 years and two months the youngest at the Fifa World Cup, did not.
Against ten men they seemed determined to get a killer second goal. They eventually achieved this after numerous chances.
They surged forward in numbers such that sometimes the ten men Czech Republic broke with three players attacking four defenders - which might be a dangerous situation when two of them are Pavel Neved and Tomas Rosicky and your side is only one goal in front.
The Czech Republic did not take their opportunties to score. Their star midfielders looked busy but with the team's best strikers on the injury list - Milan Baros and Jan Koller - the Czech attack was toothless and a bit disorganised.
At one point Rosicky let a low cross through his legs for a runner behind when he was in fact in the best striker's position.
On 57 minutes Neved left an imprint of his frustration in the stadium when he kicked an advertising hoarding which left visible stud holes.
The game had started brilliant fashion for the passionate Ghanians. They never looked back from the second minute when Asamoah Gyan took a long ball down on his chest and from the edge of the area drove the ball low past Petr Cech.
On 31 minutes Gyan got behind the defence but Cech, in a good position, saved. Gyan should have chipped it. In the second period the promising 20-year-old arguably missed many equally good chances with only Petr Cech to beat - again shooting low when he might have gone high.
Karel Bruckner had Petr Chec to thank for the score not being an embarrassment. After the sending off saves from Ghanians came on 71, 73, 77, and 79 minutes.
Any hope the central Europeans could surprise with a comeback ended when Sulley Muntari showed how to beat Cech on 84 minutes. In space in the area, he fired high left-footed inside the near post.
But before that there was drama of a sending off and missed penalty. Ujfalusi had interrupted Matthew Amoah's kicking leg when he was clean through and was shown a red card by Horacio Elizondo.
The referee delayed the red card slightly and this led to what seemed to be a misunderstanding. The crowd roared when the belated red was flashed. Gyan, perhaps in eagerness, might have taken this noise a sign the whistle had blown.
He took the penalty, though the referee was not yet in position to let it be taken. This earned the striker a yellow card and put him out of the USA match. An example of the inexperience of the young team.
His Serbian coached then watched as Gyan hit midway up the right post with the actual penalty and the score stayed 1-0.
On 93 minutes there was a flurry of activity near the Ghana goal and Richard Kingston pulled off two fine saves. But with captain Stephen Appiah and Michael Essian in control of midfield Ghana looked a powerful side who well-deserved their win against the understrength Czechs.
With three teams in Group E now on three points all eyes then turned to the next games, as potentially any of the four teams still could qualify.
|June 17, 2006
|Czech Republic||0–2||Ghana||Rhein Energie Stadion|
Czech Republic 
- 01 P Cech
- 02 Z Grygera
- 22 D Rozehnal
- 21 T Ujfalusi 66'
- 06 M Jankulovski
- 08 K Poborsky (Substituted: 55' J Stajner)
- 04 T Galasek (Substituted: 45' J Polak)
- 10 T Rosicky
- 20 J Plasil (Substituted: 68' L Sionko)
- 11 P Nedved
- 12 V Lokvenc 49'
- 22 R Kingston
- 15 J Pantsil
- 05 J Mensah
- 13 H Mohamed
- 07 I Shilla
- 08 M Essien 37'
- 10 S Appiah
- 11 S Muntari 84'
- 20 O Addo 18' (Substituted: 45' D Boateng 75' )
- 03 A Gyan 66' (Substituted: 85' R Pimpong)
- 14 M Amoah (Substituted: 80' E Addo)
Fifa World Cup Group D table June 17, 2006
Related news 
- "Czech Republic 0-2 Ghana" — , June 17, 2006
- "Fifa match report" — , June 17, 2006
- This article is about the 2006 World Cup; for more World Cup news visit the World Cup portal.
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