Maximum points for Ghana

2010-06-13 16:42

Ghana hoisted the African flag the highest today when they became

the first team from the continent to collect maximum points after defeating

Serbia 1-0 in a tightly-contested encounter at Loftus.

An 85th minute penalty by Asamoah Gyan separated the two teams

after Zdravko Kuzmanovic handled inside the box.

Gyan, who was a constant threat to the Serbs, saw his other two

attempts hitting the posts.

But it could have been a different story had Serbia not finished

the match with a man down after Aleksandar Lukovic was ejected from the game in

the 74th minute after receiving two yellow cards.

After other African representatives – Nigeria and Algeria – lost

their opening matches to Argentina and Slovenia respectively, the pressure was

on the Black Stars to redeem themselves. Africa’s other representative, South

Africa, drew their first game against Mexico on Friday.

The Black Stars started on the offensive taking the game to the

Serbs whose defence was well marshalled by Manchester United’s Nemanja


The game was so tight that it was difficult for either team to

penetrate or create meaningful scoring chances.

After a goalless first half, the two teams came back from the break

with other ideas as they were determined to take control of the proceedings.

After being one man down Serbia almost broke the deadlock but

goalkeeper Richard Kingson came to Ghana’s rescue with a breathtaking save in

the 79th minute to deny Milos Krasic.

Then it was Ghana’s turn and when Kuzmanovic handled Andre Ayew’s

cross, Argentinean referee Hector Baldassi pointed to the spot kick and Gyan

converted. Two minutes later Gyan saw his effort hitting the upright with

goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic well beaten.

In the end Gyan’s goal was all Ghana needed to be in the driving


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