LiveBlog: Czech Republic-Ghana
We have ourselves an upset. The Black Stars of Ghana have knocked off the Czech Republic to make Group E very, very interesting. You can read the blow-by-blow below and as always feel free to leave your thoughts about the match.
Final: Ghana 2-0 Czech Republic
Full time Ghana has done it! They have won their first World Cup match and they have done so in convincing fashion against a Czech team that just didn’t have it today. A great individual effort by Petr Cech kept the Czechs in the game the second half but eventually Ghana broke through to seal the win and three points. They are now tied with Italy and the Czechs atop the table in Group E and have put themselves in great position to advance if they can get a win against the United States.
90+ Kingston with a pair of great saves to keep the sheet clean for Ghana.
89:35 It is all Ghana as they attack in waves and it appears that there are no players left in the Czech backline.
88:13 Ghana waltzes in for a goal but it is offside. He shouldn’t have passed that one. Could have scored himself.
87:45 Ghana mere minutes from their first World Cup win ever. The Black Stars have earned the three points today and if not for a great game from Petr Cech they would be up by more than two goals.
86:55 A tale of two games for the Czech Republic. They were fantastic last week and have not had a good game today. Injuries are taking their tool and now they face card suspension challenges. Their match against Italy will test their courage.
85:21 Icing on the cake, Pimpong is on for Ghana. He replaced Gyan who had himself an excellent game up front for Ghana.
84:35 Ghana continues on the attack, playing a man up. This win throws Group E into a whirlpool. The final round of games in this group will mean something after all.
83:21 What a second half from the Black Stars. Ghana is pulling off the biggest upset of the competition thus far, taking down a Czech team that looked unstoppable against the United States.
81:47 GOALLLLL!!!! Muntari hits it into the top of the goal and Ghana has done it. They have cracked Petr Cech and taken a two goal lead.
81:35 Ghana crowd is small but biy are they excited in the stands. The party tonight in Accra will be legendary if they can hold on to win.
80:12 Gyan gets a long pass and he just can’t control it. Ghana killing the Czechs down the middle. The Black Stars continue to stretch the Czech defense.
79:06 Eric Addo on for Matthew Ammoah, who played a great game up front for Ghana.
77:45 Cech again with a kick save. This is starting to sound like a broken record. It is the Ghana offense against Cech and the keeper is winning even though his team is down a goal.
76:23 Every minute of this game is seeing crazy action. The pace is electric. Ghana has brought a great game today and Petr Cech has shown his value.
75:25 Boateng shown a yellow card for triping the Czech player. An opportunity for the Czechs with a free kick. It is hit over the Ghana crossbar and the team from Africa continues to pull off a shocker in Cologne.
73:45 Nedved down with a boo-boo. I can’t believe that Ghana hasn’t scored another goal. Cech is single handedly keeping his team in this game.
72:45 This game is turning into a track meet with lots of up and down action. Ghana smells blood but the Czechs are eager to get the equalizer. Cech with anothe tremendous save. What a keeper!
71:15 Asamoah with another great shot and once again Cech keeps his team alive. All Ghana at this point.
70:02 Asamoah with anothe near goal but Cech swallows up the ball. Ghana looking hungry for another goal while the Czech Republic is on its heels playing a man down.
68:15 Can the Czechs come back with a man down? Can Ghana overcome a missed penalty kick to close out the match? The final 20 minutes are going to be something.
66:45 That was a bit of a questionable penalty award so maybe justice has been served. Ghana had a chance to put the nail in the coffin but the post denies them.
66:00 Gyan drills the penalty kick off the post. Wow, what a miss. Czechs are down a man but still have life.
64:14 Amoah clipped in the box and he is awarded a penalty kick. Tomas Ujfalusi given a straight red card.
64:01 Nedved looks good in the reserved distributor role but he might need to step up to score. The Czech forwards are showing little in this game.
62:30 No sighting of Beckenbauer at this match. A shame since this game has been more entertaining than the Portugal-Iran match the Kaiser attended. I’ll bet my life he is at the US-Italy game later on.
61:15 Boateng has brought some skill off the bench for Ghana. Could you image in Ghana, Ivory Coast and Togo all merged into one country? They might be a power every World Cup.
59:15 Cech punches out Marek Jankulovski instead of the cross. Not the best way to say hello to your mate. He lives though.
58:16 Czech Republic with a free kick into the area and it goes for nothing. The Black Stars of Ghana remain stingy on defense.
56:47 Petr Cech couldn’t have expected he would have this type of workout today. Ghana keeping the pressure on and continues to lead by a goal.
55:47 Plasil with a wide open shot that sails over the bar. I’ve determined through my astute analysis that Plasil is not a very good player.
54:43 Czechs make their second sub with Jiri Stajner on for Pobarsky. I don’t understand that move but I don’t speak Czech so maybe it was smart.
54:15 For a team that has played so well Ghana really deserves more stylish uniforms. They should sue Puma for these white kits.
53:35 Pobarsky and Kuffor banging around and get into it. Remarakably few fights and confrontations this World Cup. Maybe all these yellow cards are helping to cut down on that.
51:45 Gyan with yet another great shot for Ghana. It tests everything Cech has but the Chelsea keeper saves it. Gyan is a danger this game.
50:45 Czechs starting their attack but it goes for nothing. People all over the world are rooting for the Black Stars right now. Well, except for those who want the Czechs to win. I’m indifferent. Just want a good game and to enjoy my pilsner with my virtual friends.
48:52 Strange exression saying you want to be a fly on a wall. That really isn’t desirable. Lovenic gets a card. His second of the competition so he’ll be out against Italy. Czech Republic will have no forwards for that game.
48:03 I wish I could have been a fly on the walls inside the Czech locker room at half. Their coach could not have been pleased with the way they played the first half. Credit to Ghana though for playing well.
45:38 Nedved heads in a goal but he is offside. Just by a hair but that looked to be the right call. That would have made things very interesting if it counted.
45:10 Horror hair candidates Jan Polack on for the Czech Republic. Boateng on for Ghana.
45:01 We are underway in the second half of this Group E clash. Ghana is trying to get the first win by an African team in the 2006 World Cup. The Czech Republic is trying to come back to win and stay atop the group. The next 45 minutes should be excellent. Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comments.
Halftime A good game thus far with Ghana taking a lead in the first two minutes and playing the Czech Republic straight up the rest of the half. I’m off to learn how to spell and type. I’ll be back at the start of the second half. Go ahead and leave your thoughts on the first half. Your comments and jokes are the spice of life.
44:01 Ghana should be content taking the lead into the half but they continue to search for a second goal. I like how this team isn’t sitting back. They continue to play their game even with a lead. Will they do the same in the second half?
43:03 Nedved finds Pobarsky who crosses it in and it doesn’t quite go on goal. Great ball from Nedved. That looks like the Czech team I know.
41:23 Czech offense looking a bit like my men’s league team. We are in last place.
40:02 Gyan down on the ground after falling on his tailbone. A little magic spray and TLC from the trainers should make the goal scorer feel better.
39:14 Ghana continues to attack and to create some problems for the Czech defense with their speed on the wings. Appiah doesn’t miss by much with a shot from outside the box.
38:02 Admit it, you all had Ghana winning this game in your predictions, right?
36:23 Essien booked after a collision with Nedved. We’ve seen worse from Essien in our days.
35:55 The Czech attack is missing Koller and Baros. Their midfield might need to score if they have any hopes of getting the equalizer.
34:02 Czechs with a corner that leads to a scramble in front of the Ghana goal. This keeper Kingston likes to go on walkabouts. He is going to give me the shakes it he keeps that up.
33:40 This Ghana team showing that they deserve to be on the world’s biggest stage. They are more than holding their own against the second ranked team in the world.
31:46 Czech fans trying to wake up their lads. Ghana continues to put the pressure on. Gyan with a point blank shot that is saved by Cech. Wow, that was close to being two goals for Gyan.
29:57 Amoah with a nifty turn and shot but it would only get you points in American football.
29:01 Pobarsky with a close in shot that goes just wide. He is really the only Czech player showing much thus far. He is creating opportunities in the midfield. Still Ghana by a goal.
28:02 Czech attack is breaking down. Ghana is playing with no fear and a world of confidence. They feel they can win this game. They might be right.
26:45 Ghana free kick from the side of the area. It is hit back by the Czech defender and the Black Stars get a corner. It is cleared away. Ghana players joking on the bench. Another corner for Ghana.
24:12 Marek Jankulovski makes a run from the back and gets a shot on the Ghana goal. His permanent five o’clock shadow is an art form in its on right.
22:57 Muntari with a run but his shot is way off. Petr Cech is such a quality keeper. Ghana scoring on him is huge.
22:35 Rosicky wakes up to make a nice run with the ball but Plasil does nothing with it. The Ghana coach looks like a physical education teacher. Tuck your shirt in man. You are on television.
21:04 Czech free kick from far out. Nedved hits it about as well as I would. In other words, not very good. Still Ghana by a goal.
20:15 Tomás Rosicky pretty much a non factor at this point. Pobarsky is the only Czech player showing much out there. I think they are a bit stunned still by that early goal. I know I am. I’m also hungry but that isn’t Ghana’s fault.
18:45 Ghana showing it is dangerous in the counter attack. Czechs getting bogged down in their attacking third. Doesn’t look like the same Czech team that dismantled the USA.
18:02 Appiah warned by the ref but doesn’t get a card. A rare case of a ref using restraint. Good on him. Just like that Addo picks up a yellow. I typed too soon.
16:52 We’ve gone more than 16 minutes without a yellow card. That might be a record. Also, I believe that goal was the fastest of the tournament but I could be wrong. Correct me if I am.
15:25 Some good action from the Czechs but Ghana’s defense remains tight and they are eager to get the ball up the field. Ghana playing an entertaining style of football. Group E could really be wide open now.
14:05 Suddenly there are a whole lot of people rooting for Ghana around the world. The beauty of the World Cup.
12:35 Another direct kick for Ghana. It goes well over the bar and the Czech fans sigh in relief. This game has started exactly as Ghana wanted it to. Makes you wonder even more about the United States’ perfomance against the Czechs.
11:35 Nedved shot taken in by Kingston. Great shot of Nedved’s hair being shined on by the sun. Nedved is fun to watch when he doesn’t dive.
10:35 Ghana looks young and hungry. Czech Republic looks old and tired. I’m looking something in between today after liveblogging 9 matches thus far.
9:45 The refereeing delays the free kick so he can get some camera time. It is finally taken and Cech brings it in.
9:02 Nedved creating some chances for Czech Republic but they haven’t cracked the Ghana defense yet. Ghana with a free kick at the other end.
7:42 Plasil with a blast well over the Ghana goal. He looks like a mini Nedved with his shaggy hair.
7:25 For those scoring at home I am enjoying a tasty pilsner for this game. I am still wearing the Angola flag from last night. Czechs settling down a bit and looking to get it even.
5:45 Ghana doing what no minnow has been able to do thus far, score early. The early goal scoring teams have won most of the games this competition. Will that hold true today? I don’t think this will be the only goal of the match.
4:15 The crowd seems stunned by the early goal. Czech corner and they get a shot out of it. Ghana keeper is always an accident waiting to happen. He makes my spleen hurt just watching him.
3:10 You couldn’t ask for a better start from Ghana. Amoah with a shot that is wide but it is all Ghana already. The Czechs needs to wake up quickly or this might be a long day.
1:05 GOALLLLL!!!! Asamoah Gyan knocks it in from the top of the box. Wow, what a start for Ghana!
0:56 Early corner kick for the Black Stars. Muntaru swings it in and Cech punches it out.
0:05 Argh, the return of the Shadow. It is on the far side of the pitch. I thought we chased that thing away with an Ecuadorian shaman.
Kickoff We are underway from Cologne in this Group E clash between Ghana and Czech Republic. Ghana is looking for their first World Cup point. The Czech Republic looking to earn a spot in the knockout round. Thanks for joining me for this weekend game. Your comments are very much appreciated. Let’s keep it clean, have fun and love one another during what will hopefully be an entertaining 90 minutes of World Cup football.
3 minute countdown: It is time for the Ghana anthem. It is God Bless our Homeland. An upbeat tune which the players largely sing softly. I’ll never get tired off this part of the World Cup. Love to ceremony, the anthems, the exchange of gifts…it is all cool.
5 minute countdown: The national anthem of the Czech Republic is played. It starts off slow but picks up midway through. The players are a little reserved in their singing. Nice anthem.
7 minute countdown: The players are led out onto the pitch and line up on their respective sides. When I grow up I want to be one of the kids that gets to walk out with the players.
10 minute countdown: Both teams are lining up in the tunnel. Ghana wearing their white kits. Czech Republic decked out in red. The Czech fans fill the stadium but the Ghana fans are better dancers.
15 minute countdown: Essien showed his skills last game for Ghana. It will be fun to see how he does against a very experienced and steady Czech midfield. Not sure why but the German commentators always say Chelsea London. But they never say Arsenal London. It is just Arsenal.
17 minute countdown: Seeing the replays of Samuel Kuffour’s mistaken back pass against Italy is still sad. To his credit he stood in front of the reporters after tha game and took responsibility for his mistake. Keep an eye on how he responds this game.
20 minute countdown: Best names on the rosters – For Ghana it is Razak Pimpong. For Czech Republic it is Antonin Kinsky. I could have sworn I read that as “Kinky”.
25 minute countdown: There are few things in life less interesting than watching players warm up for a match. Fortunately we are being treated to the talking heads on German television telling us how the game is going to be played out. Even in a foreign language you can tell it is all nonsense. And the Czech players continue to do sprints in the background. Nedved practicing his flops.
30 minute countdown: Vratislav Lokvenc to get the start for the injured Koller. Lokvenc has experience and a scary sounding name, but he hasn’t had that much success in international matches. He’ll need to step it up today. We all need to step it up today. It is the World Cup and it is a Saturday so there are no excuses for not tuning in.
35 minute countdown: Good images of the Czech fans enjoying some tasty pregame beverages. I might just have to do the same. Strong showing from the Czech fans in Cologne. It will be interesting to see if their team can continue the high level of play it displayed when it beat US 3-0.
40 minute countdown: I will never tire of Nutella. It goes so well with German bread. So far in this competition the African teams have played well but they are just a notch below where they need to be. Ghana looked good against Italy last week but came up short. Only Angola and Tunisia have gotten results, both earning ties.
45 minute countdown: Portugal gets the job done against Iran and is through to the knockout stage. The Czech Republic is looking for a similiar result in Group E while Ghana is hoping to keep their World Cup hopes alive. Should be a real contrast in styles. It is a cool day here in Germany so weather shouldn’t be a factor.
Pregame: The Czech Republic looked very strong against the USA, but will be missing Koller and Baros for this game. Does Ghana have a chance?