Ghana garners a point

2010-06-19 18:27

If red cards were goals, Australia would already have booked their

place in the last 16 of the World Cup. The Socceroos are already on two red

cards after the sending off of Harry Kewell today.

Last week, Australia lost their inspirational striker Tim Cahill

when they went 4-0 down to Germany.

But the talking point of today’s game would definitely be

Jabulani, the World Cup ball.

The ball has been making headlines since the beginning of the World

Cup and after a howler by Ghana goalkeeper Richard Kingson, the debate will

surely continue.

Or is it the curse of the Rustenburg stadium after what happened to

Robert Green there last week?

The England goalkeeper made global headlines when his butter

fingers let Clint Dempsey’s ball past him to gift the USA a point.

Algeria goalie Faouzi Chaouchi was also the culprit of horrendous

goalkeeping when he gave Slovenia a goal at Peter Mokaba Stadium.

Then Nigeria’s Vincent Enyeama also registered his name on the list

of howlers after he failed to deal with a shot in their encounter against Greece

on Friday.

Today, it was the Black Stars’ stand-in captain Kingson who

fumbled Marco Bresciano’s 25m free-kick. Brett Holman slotted home the rebound

to give the Socceroos their first goal of the tournament. Kingson redeemed

himself in the 82nd minute when he denied Luke Wilkshire a winning goal.

After losing 4-0 in their opening game against Germany, Australia

needed at least a point to still stay in the tournament and Holman’s goal gave

them a lifeline.

A loss would have meant the end of the road and they would have

been the first team out of OR Tambo International Airport.

Robert Rosetti awarded Ghana a penalty in the 25th minute after

Harry Kewell’s stretched right arm stopped a Jonathan Mensah’s goalbound ball on

the line. Kewell saw red and Asamoah Gyan converted from the spot-kick.

Ghana tried their best to get a winning goal but found the

Australian defence, well marshalled by Lucas Neil, uncompromising. Veteran

goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer was in equally good form.

It was only after Kewell was ejected that the Blacks Stars started

playing like men possessed, but still they did not do enough to bag the three

points.

A win for Ghana would have put them in the driving seat going into

their final group game against Germany. But the ball is in their court as they

lead the group and need only a draw to make sure of a place in the knock-out

stages.

But the group is still wide open with all the teams still in with a

chance of advancing.

 

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