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United States Falls to Ghana As Jozy Altidore Flops With Conviction

In basketball it's called "flopping". In soccer they call it "diving". Whatever you call it, young Jozy Altidore did it in embarrassing and disgraceful fashion.

Altidore, one of the country's top young talents, showed his grasp of the beautiful game by flailing his way to a missed shot and caused an opponent to earn an undeserved yellow card which will keep him out of the next round.

The first time happened on a sterling chance for the United States, with Altidore pushing the ball into the penalty area, while drawing plenty of contact from his defender. The two tumbled to the ground, with Altidore pushing a falling shot just wide. No penalty was called, though both Ian Darke and John Harkes mused that penalty kicks had been awarded for less. Upon replay, though, Altidore exaggerated the level of contact he received before falling in an unnatural direction.

Then, during stoppage time in regulation, Altidore was bringing the ball up along the sideline before apparently being tripped, leading to a yellow card that would disqualify André Ayew from quarterfinal play. Upon replay, again, Altidore hadn't even been touched. He just faceplanted and was rewarded with a heinous yellow card against Ghana.

We expect better from our team. We expect them to start games sharp and not give up early goals and we expect them to play with some semblance of honor and dignity. I understand that "embellishment" is part of the game but Jozy's performance today was a disgrace. I suppose he was more interested in auditioning for an opportunity to play next to Cristiano Renaldo than in representing his country.


Full game recap from SB Nation's World Cup Coverage

The United States has been seen out of the World Cup, but it took 120 minutes and an extra time goal from Asamoah Gyan to see them out.

The Ghanaian strike put home his third goal of the tournament in the 93rd minute, a left-footed half-volley from eight yards out put into the top of the next giving Ghana a 2-1 lead.   The Black Stars would hold on to the lead  for the next 27 minutes.

Ghana moves on to the quarterfinals to face Uruguay.

Ghana went up in the sixth minute through Kevin Prince Boateng, taking advantage of a Ricardo Clark turnover to finish past Tim Howard from 20 yards out to put the Black Stars up 1-0.

Ghana would control the match through half time, when a substitution that brought-on Benny Feilhaber invigorated the U.S., leading to a penalty earning in the 61st minute.  Jonathan Mensah's take-down of Clint Dempsey gave Landon Donovan a chance from the spot.  Donovan hit his kick against the inside of the right post, making it 1-1, scoring his third goal of the competition.

In extra time, a long ball played out of the back from Ghana, over the United States defense, allowed Gyan to run onto an opportunity in the box.  Gyan got position on Carlos Bocanegra, behind JayDeMerit, to score the decisive goal.


Though the United States leaves the 2010 competition having won a group for the first time since 1930, it is the second straight World Cup where the U.S. ends their tournament with a 2-1 loss to Ghana.

Ghana becomes the third African nation to make the quarterfinals, following Senegal's 2002 team and Cameroon's team of 1990.  With a win over Uruguay next Friday, Ghana would become the African nation to make the semifinals.