SCOTT PETERSON - Friday, June 28, 2013
The US U-20 MNT was knocked out of the 2013 World Cup on Thursday after falling decisively to a strong Ghana squad in Kayseri, Turkey.
With only a victory needed to progress, the US fell to its international soccer nemesis Ghana, who may sneak into the quarterfinals thanks to a pair of goals by striker Ebenezer Assifuah.
The first real chance of the game fell to the US and Jose Villareal in the 30th minute, but the L.A. Galaxy man's thunderous effort from 30 yards was spectacularly punched away by Ghana keeper Eric Antwi.
Ghana grabbed the breakthrough in the 38th minute through Frank Acheampong, who pounced and converted after the US backline failed to clear the ball out of the box.
In the 58th minute Assifuah hit his first of two by displaying quick feet to create space for a shot in the box, before tucking his right-footed effort inside the far post.
Shane O'Neill gave the US a glimmer of hope in the 69th minute by heading home from short range on Oscar Sorto's perfectly weighted cross.
All hopes of an improbable comeback were effectively dashed eight minutes later when Assifuah got free to head home his second, before Kennedy Ashia completed the scoring in the 83rd minute by slotting the ball between keeper Cody Cropper's legs.
The US, which has not progressed to the knockout stages in the U-20 World Cup since 2007, finished last in the nominal group of death with a lone point to their credit.