The USA is the slight favorite against Ghana in the first round of the playoffs, but they have to deal with the crowd in this match since the African nation will have home field advantage.
USA vs. Ghana – Current Match Odds
has the USA at +145 with Ghana at +185 with a draw at +210 and a goal total of 2.5.
The USA won their group and now face a Ghana team that was a surprise to make the playoffs. Many thought Ivory Coast, Nigeria, or Cameroon had a solid chance to make the round of 16, but it is Ghana that is the only African team in the knockout stage.
Ghana may have to win this match with their defense, as they have only scored two goals in their three group matches.
The USA did beat Algeria to make the playoffs, but they wasted several golden opportunities to score in the match and they cannot do that against Ghana.
The last time these two teams met they played in the World Cup in 2006 and it was Ghana that won and knocked the Americans out of the tournament.
In their last group matches on Thursday the USA beat Algeria 1-0 and Ghana lost 1-0 to Germany.
Against Algeria and in the first half against Slovenia the Americans had a few defensive errors and it cost them two goals against Slovenia and luckily none against Algeria. The back line of the USA cannot turn the ball over, which they have done way too much in the last couple of matches and they cannot blow their defensive assignments.
Ghana is a young team that lacks a true world-class striker and they will have to look to score from chances created in the midfield and on the counter-attack. They need to take a page from the Algerians, as even though they were held scoreless they had several chances to score off the counter attack.
Landon Donovan has scored two goals in the American’s last two matches, including the game winner against Algeria, and he Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore will have to play well and pressure the Ghana defense and solid G Richard Kingson.
Both Michael Bradley and Maurice Edu played great in the match against Algeria and they will have to control the ball in the midfield and push forward on offense and also get back on defense to thwart the counter-attack.
USA G Tim Howard has been good in the box in the World Cup and he and the American defense has to play well and since Ghana will have the home field advantage they cannot allow the African nation to score first or they will have a major uphill battle to come back and win. They have to especially key on striker Asamoag Gyan, who has scored both goals for Ghana in the World Cup.
Look for the USA to play a better match on defense and take advantage of the goal scoring chances, as they will win this match and advance to the quarterfinals.
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In the other playoff match on Saturday North Korea takes on Uruguay and has Uruguay as the favorite posted at -117 with North Korea at +335 with a draw at +220 and a goal total of +220. For match up reports on this game, as well as others YOU CAN FIND MATCHUP TRENDS AND STATS.