USA vs. Ghana is the World Cup match up that the world will literally be watching, the only other game scheduled for today after Uruguay topped South Korea 2-1. The winner of this match will face Uruguay (complete brackets here).
*Scroll down for our LIVE blog of the match.*
Bloggers are weighing in with their previews and predictions. Allgov.com's David Wallechinsky says Ghana has to be the weakest of the 16 teams in the knockout stage. Association Football's Max Bergmann notes the match is really USA vs. Africa as Ghana is the continent's last surviving team. Author David Henry Sterry outlines how the USA can come away with a win.
HALFTIME: 1-0 Ghana. Analysis: In keeping with tradition the US conceded a soft early goal. This time not only the defense but Tim Howard was found lacking as Boateng beat him near post with a hard low shot after Ricardo Clark got dispossessed. Ghana has had all the possession and looked comfortably in charge. US has little to be happy about. They've looked lost on the pitch, and have created only one real chance, which Findley squandered. Can they come up with another great second half comeback or a last minute miracle? Suffice to say, if they play like they did in the first 45 mins in the second 45, they will be coming home.
PREVIEW:After emerging from Group C by the skin of their teeth thanks to Donovan's last minute heroics, the USA now find themselves with as easy a road to the semifinals as they are likely to have in any World Cup. Uruguay awaits in the quarterfinals after beating South Korea, and while they have been playing outstanding so far this tournament, they are not as formidable as Brazil, Argentina, the Netherlands or Spain, all of whom the U.S. has mercifully avoided in their bracket.
But first they will have to defeat Ghana, a country that was responsible for sealing the USA's exit from the 2006 World Cup in Germany on a controversial penalty kick. The Black Stars proved difficult to break down at the back in their group games, and they are by far the most strategically disciplined of the African squads. Add in home field advantage and being the only remaining hope for the continent, and you can see why Ghana may prove a major obstacle to the USA's chances of advancing.
At the same time they failed to score a goal in the run of play during their first three games. (Both of their strikes have come from the penalty spot,) And so if Michael Bradley can once again dominate the play through midfield as he so often has this World Cup, and the U.S. attackers can find a way to grab a goal, that could easily be enough to see them through. The one thing to worry about for the U.S. defense is Ghana's speed, given that the US back line is not the quickest. Yet if the U.S. can keep a clean sheet like they finally did against Algeria, there chances of going through without resorting to penalty kicks seem favorable.
We'll be live blogging the match below, beginning at 2:30 p.m. EST: