Late penalty secures 1-0 win for Ghana over Serbia

An 84th minute Asamoah Gyan penalty gave Ghana a 1-0 win over Serbia in their World Cup Group D match at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria on Sunday in South Africa.

A big crowd of mostly African fans went into raptures as Ghana scored the late winner to have the African team sitting on top of Group D, at least until the result of the Australia and Germany match later today is known.

Both sides were reluctant to take risks for most of the game and the Serbians will be wondering how they let a point slip away, while the Ghanians will be ecstatic with the 3 points.

First Half
The Africans had a reasonable chance on 20 minutes when John Mensah could only glance his header wide, while a few minutes later Gyan just missed connecting to a Boateng swirling cross that would have given Ghana the lead had he made contact.

Neither side ventured into their opponents danger area too often and shots at goal were rare as hen’s teeth.

Serbia were well served down back but they were too slow and direct when going forward and were simply picked off by Ghana on their rare forays forward.

Ghana defended well and were more adventurous when counter attacking down the flanks, although Serbia were able to foil them once the ball got into the middle.

Both sides had minimal chances at goal and it was 0-0 at half time.

First half rating (Out of 5): Serbia 3 – Ghana 3

Second Half
A decent chance for Ayew on 53 minutes when he got in behind Vidic at the rear post and his header landed to the right of the post.

On the hour Gyan found himself unmarked at close range but his effort hits the upright and goes out for a goal kick.

A game changing decision by the referee on 74 minutes as Lukovic is sent off for Serbia and they are down to 10 men.

Serbia finished strongly and were denied a great opportunity of a goal when Ghana’s keeper Kingson pulls off a ripper save to deny Krasic and tips the ball over the crossbar!

A handball in the penalty area on 83 minutes by the Serbian substitute Kuzmanovic results in a yellow card for him and a penalty for Ghana.

Asamoah Gyan puts the ball in the back of the net to give Ghana a 1-0 lead.

Both sides had great chances in the last few minutes, especially Gian who had a top shot that hit the post in the dying minutes.

Second Half rating (Out of 5): Serbia 3 – Ghana 3

Final Score

Serbia 0 – 1 Ghana

84m Asamoah Gyan

19m N. Zigic (Ser)
26m I. Vorsah (Gha)
54m A. Lukovic (Ser)
74m A. Lukovic (Ser)
83m Z. Kuzmanovic (Ser)
89m P. Tagoe (Gha)

Serbia Starting 11
Vladimir Stojkovic, Branislav Ivanovic, Aleksandar Lukovic, Nemanja Vidic, Aleksandar Kolarov, Milos Krasic, Nenad Milijas, Dejan Stankovic, Milan Jovanovic,
Marko Pantelic, Nikola Zigic

Substitutes
62m Zdravko Kuzmanovic for Nenad Milijas
69m Danko Lazovic for Nikola Zigic
76m Neven Subotic for Milan Jovanovic

Ghana Starting 11
Richard Kingson, John Pantsil, Isaac Vorsah, John Mensah, Hans Sarpei, Anthony Annan, Kevin-Prince Boateng, Prince Tagoe, Kwadwo Asamoah, Andre Ayew, Asamoah Gyan

Substitutes
73m Stephen Appiah for Kwadwo Asamoah
90m Quincy Owusu-Abeyie for Asamoah Gyan
90m Lee Addy for Kevin-Prince Boateng

Team Game Rating (out of 10): Serbia 6 – Ghana 6

Match Thoughts

Both sides had an aversion to goal for much of the game and were simply happy to be defensively in control.

The second half was more productive than the first and Ghana always looked the most likely side to score as they were less predictable going forward.

Serbia

Positives: Defence held well together and Ghana found it very hard to penetrate.
Area to Improve: Need to be quicker building forward and less direct as they are too predictable.
Where to now: Should of had a point and will rue getting nothing from the game. Will be tough to wear down for Australia and Germany, but up forward they need to offer more.

Ghana

Positives: Very sound in all areas and on the counter attack were unpredictable during the game.
Area to Improve: Need to attack more through the middle when they can to have shots from decent positions.
Where to now: Face Australia and Germany and they will fancy themselves against the Aussies, where a win could secure the next round.

Filed Under: 2010 World Cup

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