*On This Day 17th June 2006(Exactly 14-Years Ago Today) Ghana Had Their First World Cup Win Against Czech Republic In World Cup 2006 After 2 – 0 Defeat.*
Ghana threw Group E wide open with victory over the Czech Republic.
Asamoah Gyan fired Ghana ahead after just 70 seconds, finishing superbly to punish Tomas Ujfalusi’s mistake.
Ujfalusi was later sent off for bringing down Matthew Amoah, but the Czechs had a reprieve as Gyan struck the resulting penalty against the post.
Petr Cech kept Ghana at bay with a string of great saves but the Black Stars sealed victory with a second when Sulley Muntari rounded off a fine move.
Ghana gave an instant demonstration of their determination to make amends for their error-strewn defeat to Italy by sweeping into the lead inside 70 seconds.
A Ghana corner was cleared only as far as Stephen Appiah whose cross was missed by Ujfalusi and fell for Gyan who finished superbly past Cech from the edge of the box.
The Czech Republic were having problems getting the influential Tomas Rosicky on the ball and when they did get crosses in they missed the giant figure of the injured Jan Koller and Ghana’s defence were able to cope relatively comfortably.
Ghana’s central midfielders Appiah and Michael Essien worked their socks off to negate the threat of Nedved and Rosicky.
The Czechs at last stitched a move together, with Jaroslav Plasil, Rosicky and Nedved combining to set up Poborsky for a cross which Rosicky fired wide.
Cech is disconsolate after Ghana’s late second
Czech Republic’s hunger for an equaliser almost proved their undoing as Asamoah Gyan caught them short-handed at the back and it needed a great save Cech to prevent Ghana doubling their lead.
At the other end Richard Kingston arched up to tip over a powerful drive from Plasil as the contest took on the air of a game in the knockout stages.
Drama erupted on 65 minutes when Ujfalusi brought down Amoah. Argentine referee Horacio Elizondo pointed to the penalty spot, but took an age to show the last Czech defender a red card.
Gyan was shown a yellow card for taking the penalty without the referee’s permission, ruling him out of Ghana’s last group game against the USA, and struck the retake against the post.
Ghana shrugged off that disappoinment to surge forward and Cech kept the Czechs alive with great saves from Muntari and Amoah.
Cech almost single-handedly kept Ghana at bay, denying Amoah and Gyan in quick succession.
But his resistance ended when Muntari ended off a fine move by firing past Cech from 12 yards.
Czech Republic: Cech, Grygera, Rozehnal, Ujfalusi, Jankulovski, Poborsky (Stajner 55), Galasek (Polak 45), Rosicky, Plasil (Sionko 68), Nedved, Lokvenc.
Subs Not Used: Mares, Kovac, Jiranek, Jarolim, Blazek, Heinz, Kinsky, Koller, Baros.
Sent Off: Ujfalusi (66).
Ghana: Kingston, Pantsil, Mensah, Mohamed, Shilla, Essien, Appiah, Muntari, Otto Addo (Boateng 45), Gyan (Pimpong 85), Amoah (Eric Addo 80).
Subs Not Used: Adjei, Sarpei, Kuffour, Pappoe, Tachie-Mensah, Owu, Quaye, Ahmed, Dramani.
Booked: Otto Addo, Essien, Gyan, Boateng, Muntari.
Goals: Gyan 2, Muntari 82.
Referee: Horacio Marcelo Elizondo (Argentina).
Fifa man of the match: Michael Essien
Asamoah Gyan’s opening goal after one minute and eight seconds is the fastest at the 2006 World Cup. The finals record is 11 seconds by Turkey’s Hakan Sukur against South Korea in 2002. Gyan’s missed penalty marked the first unconverted spot kick at this championship. The last player to miss a penalty at the World Cup was South Korea’s Jung-Hwan Ahn against Italy in 2002.
Ghana’s starting line-up was the youngest of all teams at the 2006 World Cup with an average age of 24 years and 203 days. They became the first of the six debutants in Germany to gain a maximum, the first African nation to win at this tournament and the eighth nation ever from the continent to complete a World Cup victory.
Ghana’s triumph ended Czech Republic’s unbeaten run of nine matches in all competitions.
On this day 17 June 1994(Exactly 26years ago today) The 1994 FIFA World Cup soccer competition begins in the United States
The 1994 FIFA World Cup was the 15th FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men’s national soccer teams. It was hosted by the United States and took place from June 17 to July 17, 1994, at nine venues across the country. The United States was chosen as the host by FIFA on July 4, 1988. Despite the host nation’s lack of soccer tradition, the tournament was the most financially successful in World Cup history; aided by the high-capacity stadiums in the United States, it broke the World Cup average attendance record with more than 69,000 spectators per game, a mark that still stands. The total attendance of nearly 3.6 million for the final tournament remains the highest in World Cup history, despite the later expansion of the competition from 24 to 32 teams (and from 52 to 64 games), which was first introduced at the 1998 World Cup and is the current format.
Host country: United States
Dates: June 17 – July 17
Teams: 24 (from 5 confederations)
Venue(s): 9 (in 9 host cities)
Champions: Brazil(4th title)
Third place: Sweden
Fourth place: Bulgaria
Matches played: 52
Goals scored: 141 (2.71 per match)
Attendance: 3,597,042 (69,174 per match)
Top scorer(s): Bulgaria Hristo Stoichkov
Russia Oleg Salenko
(6 goals each)
Best player(s): Brazil Romário
Best young player: Netherlands Marc Overmars
Best goalkeeper: Belgium Michel Preud’homme
Fair play award: Brazil
Official Ball: Questra by Adidas
Mascot: Striker, the World Cup Pup (the World Cup Pup A dog, a common US pet animal, wearing a red, white and blue soccer uniform with the words “USA 94”.)
By Isaac Ganyo Tamakloe