Yankees beat Black Stars 2-1 in Connecticut Soccer friendlies

The US opens scoring in this photo by Oral Ofori

The friendly soccer duel between the senior men’s national teams of the USA – the Yankees, and their Ghana counterparts – Black Stars ended 2-1 in favor of the Americans on July 1, 2017.

Dom Dwyer who wore Jersey number 14 and playing in forward for the US got the first goal of the game in the 19th minute with a connect from his colleague Jorge Villafaña that beat Ghanaian goalie Richard Ofori.

The Ghanaians turned up the heat of the game which earned them a penalty in the dying minutes of the first half in stoppex time that captain Asamoah Gyan failed to convert. Goalie Brad Guzan of the US was alert enough to stop the penalty kick in stoppage time.

Emboldened by Asamoah Gyan’s miss and the thunderous chants of their fans at the stadium, the Americans pushed themselves to their second goal when Kellyn Acosta found the back of Ghana’s net in the 52nd minute to secure a 2-1 lead at the 28,754 packed stadium to set the place agog once more.

This game was the first ever friendly encounter between both countries and also the first time they were meeting each other since the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

Asamoah Gyan in the 60th minute of the game scored a face-saving goal to compensate for his penalty miss and inject some hope into the Ghanaian fans that had trooped into the Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field to support the Black Stars.

This Ghana fan keeps hope alive amidst sea of US fans. Photo: Oral Ofori

Referee Ismael Cornejo of Slovenia brought the game to an end with yet another 2-1 scoreline for both nations that painted a similar picture of the 2014 World Cup clash that sent Ghana crashing out at the hands of the Yankees.

Ghana’s Black Stars came into the game from their first friendlies against Mexico played Wednesday, June 28 which they lost by a lone goal. Ghana Coach Kwasi Appiah before these back-to-back losses led his team to a 5-0 win over Ethiopia in a 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier.

Both teams have played each other in the last successive FIFA World Cups, recording shorelines of 2-1 going in favor of the Ghana Black Stars as they eliminated the USA from the Germany 2006 and South Africa 2010 games respectively. The USA bounced back in the Brazil 2014 World Cup by beating Ghana 2-1 in their first game.

More photos courtesy Oral Ofori available at #TheAfricanDream Facebook page.

Starting Lineups
USA: 1-Brad Guzan (capt.); 2-Jorge Villafaña, 5-Matt Besler, 6-Kelyn Rowe, 10-Joe Corona, 13-Dax McCarty, 14-Dom Dwyer
19-Graham Zusi, 20-Paul Arriola, 21-Matt Hedges, 23-Kellyn Acosta
Subs: 12-Bill Hamid, 22-Sean Johnson, 3-Omar Gonzalez, 4-Matt Miazga, 7-Kenny Saief, 8-Jordan Morris, 9-Gyasi Zardes, 11-Alejandro Bedoya, 15-Eric Lichaj, 17-Cristian Roldan, 18-Juan Agudelo
Head coach: Bruce Arena

GHA: 1-Richard Ofori; 3-Asamoah Gyan (capt.), 6-Mohammed Abu, 7-David Accam, 8-Ebenezer Ofori, 11-Raphael Dwamena, 14-Jerry Akaminko, 15-Rashid Sumalia, 17-Lumor Agbenyenu, 21-John Boye, 22-Frank Acheampong
Subs: 16-Joseph Addo, 2-Thomas Agyepong, 5-Gershon Koffie, 9-Kwadwo Poku, 12-Samuel Sarfo, 13-Isaac Sackey, 18-Winful Cobbinah, 19-Nicholas Opoku, 20-Majeed Waris
Head coach: Kwesi Appiah

Officials:
Referee: Ismael Cornejo (SLV)
Assistant Referee 1: David Morgan (SLV)
Assistant Referee 2: Douglas Bermudez (SLV)
Fourth Official: Jaime Herrera (SLV)

Source: Oral Ofori / US Soccer

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