Ghana's midfielder Andre Ayew (2R) celebrates with teammates after scoring during of a Group G football match between Ghana and US at the Dunas Arena in Natal during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 16, 2014. AFP PHOTO / CARL DE SOUZA (Photo credit should read CARL DE SOUZA/AFP via Getty Images)
At Qatar 2022, Ghana will appear at a fourth Fifa World Cup, hoping for more good memories on a stage where they’ve had lots of fun in the past. Ahead of their November 24 kick-off against Portugal at the futuristic Stadium 974 in Doha, Ink & Kicks reviews the 13 goals already in the Black Stars’ World Cup account.
Today, we’re on Goal #10…
For all that is rumoured about a long-running rift between Ayew and Gyan, they have combined to devastating effect on the pitch.
Their two-man act helped create the goal that saw Ghana, in 2010, become only the third African side to reach the quarter-finals of the Fifa World Cup, condemning the United States of America (USA) to a second defeat to the Black Stars in as many meetings at the Mundial.
At the next edition, Brazil 2014, the two countries had a third date, a chance for Ghana to further assert their dominance or for the Yanks to break the yoke of the oppressor.
The American agenda quickly got underway, Clint Dempsey snatching an early lead within 29 seconds – the fifth-fastest goal in World Cup history – for Jurgen Klinsmann’s men; a striking contrast to Ghana grabbing the initiative in the two previous encounters.
It wasn’t until the 82nd minute that Ghana’s fightback yielded dividends, a skilfully and swiftly constructed equaliser that featured neat interplay between Gyan and Ayew.
From the left wing, a pass was slid through into the box, where Gyan was already on the move. He took just one touch – sublime, subtle, superb – to backheel the ball into the path of Ayew who, with a clearer sight of goal, applied a neat finish.
It’s a goal many Ghanaians wouldn’t remember very easily or too fondly, unfortunately, perhaps because of the final score (there was still time for John Brookes to become the first American substitute to score at the World Cup, heading the winner in from a corner) or the fact that it briefly sparked a hope that ultimately went unfulfilled.
That, though, is beside the point, isn’t it?
America beating Ghana, for a change, takes nothing away from what should go down as one of the best goals the Black Stars would ever score at the World Cup – and yes, yet another illustration of how well Gyan and Ayew, differences aside, perform in sync.