An African team will play in the World Cup quarterfinals. Ghana beat the United States 2-1 after extra time, securing a place against Uruguay in the next round. Uruguay beat South Korea 2-1 earlier on Saturday.
Asamoah Gyan again scored Ghana's decisive goal
Asamoah Gyan's left-footed volley came just moments into extra-time for Ghana, and it eventually secured the last African team in the competition a spot in the quarterfinals.
The US had a string of last gasp chances to level the score for the second time in the match, but none went their way. The team looked understandably tired late in the marathon match, and struggled to really pressure the leaders and draw level.
All square after 90 minutes
Kevin Prince Boateng was flying high, but left the game injured
The US first got back into the match in the second half through probably their most famous player, Landon Donovan. Donovan showed some nerves from the penalty spot, but slotted the ball home off the inside of the post to make it 1-1. Clint Dempsey secured the penalty when he was brought down in the area by Jonathan Mensah. Mensah received a yellow card for his clumsy challenge.
The newest - and in Germany perhaps the most controversial – addition to the Ghanaian squad, Kevin Prince Boateng, had opened the scoring with a great goal for Ghana, driving the ball low into the bottom corner from the edge of the penalty area with his weaker left foot after a strong run from the half-way line. A rather passive US back line really should have put more pressure on the dynamic midfielder in the run up to his strike.
The impressive Berlin-born Boateng, whose now infamous challenge on Michael Ballack put Germany's veteran captain out of the competition, was the driving force in Ghana's midfield, playing with his typical energy and aggression.
However, the last African team in the competition finished without their star player, after he limped off holding his thigh - in what looked like a hamstring or groin injury - late in the second half.
Ghana will now try to become the first African side ever to reach the semifinals in their next game against Uruguay.
Suarez sinks South Korea
Uruguay's opening goal was far easier than it should have been
Luis Suarez was the hero for Uruguay against South Korea in the day's afternoon match, scoring both their goals to secure the first spot in the World Cup quarterfinals.
Suarez's opener on eight minutes was tremendously simple, while his winner in the 80th minute was simply tremendous.
When watching the tape after the game, South Korea will regret their loss of concentration in the early going that allowed Uruguay to get ahead. Their defense seemed to momentarily fall asleep, as the back line simply watched a Diego Forlan cross roll across the face of goal. Keeper Jung Sung-Ryong dived for the ball, but didn't get anywhere near it, and Suarez was there at the far post to gratefully knock the ball into the empty net.
Suarez, who plays in the Netherlands for Ajax Amsterdam, worked a lot harder for goal number two, offering up one of the best strikes of the tournament so far. After South Korea failed to clear a dangerous corner, Suarez hit a textbook shot off the inside of the post with his right foot - the Korean keeper had no chance.
At times in the second half, South Korea looked like favorites
The goal was especially important for Uruguay, who suddenly looked under pressure mid way through the second half.
A headed equalizer from Lee Chung-Yong brought the Asians back into contention on 68 minutes, and the Bolton Wanderers midfielder squandered a golden chance to put his side ahead moments later.
Lee's goal, like every one South Korea scored in the World Cup, came from a well-executed set piece.
Uruguay probably had the better of the game overall, but it was a very close match between two aggressive, attacking teams. Both have reason to bemoan rejected penalty appeals and controversial offside calls that might have changed the run of the game in their favor.
Uruguay will play Ghana in Johannesburg on July 2.
Author: Mark Hallam
Editor: Sonia Phalnikar