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Without a shot on goal, Americans manage 1-1 World Cup draw with Italy.

U.S. World Cup hopes get boost from heroic 1-1 draw with Italy.

Koller, Rosicky lead Czechs to 3-0 World Cup rout of Americans.

With stakes high, U.S. comes out flat and is thrashed by Czechs.

With stakes high, U.S. comes out flat and is thrashed by Czechs.

Visit to Hamburg City Hall follows easy day of training.

Americans again have trouble scoring, but McBride finishes Latvia.

U.S. reserves have little difficulty in disposing of Venezuela.

Knee injury shelves Gibbs, Berhalter joins World Cup effort; Reyna appears OK.

Americans have causes for concern after loss to Morocco.

Reyna, Keller are each named to their fourth World Cup team.

Poor U.S. effort leads to disappointing 1-1 draw with Jamaica.

Donovan becomes leader in career assists as U.S. draws 1-1 with Jamaica.

U.S. defense collapses, Germany hands rout to depleted Americans.

Hejduk has strained hamstring, is replaced by Feilhaber on roster for Germany match.

Donovan scratched for game against Germany with calf ailment.

Dempsey dropped from Germany roster after suspension by Revs for fight.

Gulati is acclaimed new USSF president; board size is slashed.

Three games in May are scheduled as final World Cup prep.

U.S. game against Jamaica in Cary, N.C., sells out quickly.

Twellman's hustle sets up Dempsey's opportunistic header to beat Poland 1-0.

U.S. victory over Poland is welcome, but not particularly satisfying.

Arena selections for Poland game give hints of World Cup roster.

X-rays of Pope's hand are negative; he will face Italy.

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  • World Cup television schedule.
  • World Cup standings, schedule, results.
  • Bad penalty call punctuates ineptitude as U.S. World Cup ends.

    U.S. men

    Ghana uses disputed penalty kick to end American World Cup 2-1.

    NUREMBERG, Germany (Thursday, June 22, 2006) -- The United States men came back once, but the couldn't overcome a highly suspect penalty-kick call, seeing their World Cup run end with a 2-1 loss to Ghana before 41,000 at Frankenstadion this afternoon.

    The U.S. needed to win and have Italy defeat the Czech Republic to advance to the Round of 16. The Italians did their part with a 2-0 triumph, but the Americans could not hold up their end.

    So ends an extremely disappointing World Cup for the U.S. in which it finished last in Group E with an 0-2-1 record and one point. The U.S. managed only two goals, one of them an own goal against Italy, without which it probably would have lost instead of tying Italy 1-1 Saturday.

    "I think in another group we would have had a better chance to advance," U.S. manager Bruce Arena said. "I think we were among the top half of the teams in this tournament. Despite the two losses, I think we demonstrated that we can play.

    "You see some of the other groups, some of the games are very lopsided. This group was a real battle. I'm proud to have been in this group and survived into Day Three. We're disappointed and we think we could have advanced today. I'm sure the Ghanaian team says the same thing and they certainly did, so give them credit."

    Italy (2-0-1, 7) and Ghana (2-1, 6) advanced to the second round while the Czechs (1-2, 3) joined the Americans heading home. The U.S. knew since the December 9 World Cup draw it would play in one of the two most difficult of the eight groups in this quadrennial tournament. Still, the Americans will be left wondering why they couldn't do better and ruing decisions by the game officials who ejected two players in the Italy match and handed Ghana the winning tally today with a phantom penalty-kick ruling.

    "We worked real hard to get back into the game (with Clint Dempsey's tying goal in the 43rd minute)," U.S. manager Bruce Arena said. "I'm very disappointed in the judgment of the referee for that penalty-kick call and putting our team down at half and having to chase the game for that second half. I would have liked to come out at halftime even and have a chance to play the game and win that game, because I thought we were in good position at the time.

    "The call was a big call in the game. Having said that, we could have been better with our opportunities in the second half to get some goals"

    Four minutes after U.S. midfielder Clint Dempsey pulled the U.S. even at 1-1, referee Markus Merk made an inexplicable call on American defender Oguchi Onyewu in the penalty area, leading to Stephen Appiah's penalty kick for a 2-1 Ghana advantage.

    "It was a bad call, but we must live with it," U.S. defender Steve Cherundolo said. "It's disappointing because we worked so hard to get back into the game. If we went in at halftime 1-1, we would have been in a much better situation."

    U.S. left defender Carlos Bocanegra made a mental error when he was trapped going back for a ball deep in the corner. He looped the ball over his head, instead of playing it out. The ball went slightly inside and he went up with Matthew Amoah with one of them heading the ball into the top of the box. Retreating, Onyewu went up and won a header from the smaller Razak Pimpong, who fell to the ground.

    Replays confirmed what was obvious: Onyewu hadn't pushed -- his arms were at his side -- and there was minor contact as both went for the ball. If anything, Onyewu, who goes 6-foot-4 and weighs 210 pounds was penalized for his size as he towered over the 5-7, 159-pound Pimpong.

    Appiah couldn't have done better with his penalty, driving it high into the top left corner of the net while U.S. goalkeeper Kasey Keller when diving in the opposite direction.

    "It's extremely disappointing," Keller said. "We put ourselves in position to be able to advance in the third game. Obviously, we're disappointed with the decision of the referee, but at the end of it we didn't make the plays that we needed to make. It's as simple as that."

    In the 66th minute, The U.S came within inches of tying the match after midfielder Eddie Lewis carried down the left sideline before sending a cross that Brian McBride re-directed off the near post with a diving header. Two minutes later, Oneywu rose above a crowd to meet Landon Donovan's corner kick, but his header went just over the left side of the crossbar.

    While both sides managed some decent runs into opposition territory after that, but neither could produce a dangerous scoring opportunity.

    "We were not patient enough -- our sharpness and understanding was just not there in part of the second half," Donovan said. "We worked hard to get back into the game."

    In the 22nd minute, Cherundolo broke up a Ghana attack with Dempsey collecting the loose ball and carrying up the right flank. About 30 yards from his end-line, Dempsey touched a short pass to his left to midfielder Claudio Reyna who made the fatal mistake of pushing the ball from his left foot to right.

    That move gave Ghana midfielder Haminu Draman time to charge in and tackle the ball away. The two banged knees and Reyna went down in pain while Draman carried into the left side of the box. From 10 yards out, Draman tucked his shot deep into the far corner of the net beyond the reach of outstretched goalkeeper Kasey Keller for a 1-0 lead.

    Reyna, who suffered a sprained medial collateral ligament, was taken off on a stretcher, but returned to the field in the 27th minute. He played another 13 minutes before he asked out and was replaced by Ben Olsen, who was making his World Cup debut. For Reyna, it was probably the end of his international career with his announcement after the game of his retirement.

    "I'm probably done," said Reyna, a veteran of four World Cups. "That's it."

    As far as his injury. he said, "My knee was just not capable of going on. I could feel it every time I made a cut."

    McBride also indicated he would call it quits after three Cups. "Yes, this is my last World Cup," he said. "I felt bad for (Reyna) as a player and as a person."

    The U.S. equalized at 1-1 in the 43rd minute. Midfielder DaMarcus Beasley had his pass stopped, but he picked up the loose ball amid three opponents and raced forward. From six yards above the top left corner of the penalty area he curled a precise lead pass to thye far corner of the box into the path of Dempsey, who had slipped three steps behind Habib Mohamed.

    With Mohamed on his heels, Dempsey drilled his first touch high into the left side of the net.

    Notes: The U.S. is 6-16-3 all-time in the World Cup, 2-4-2 in two tournament under Arena.

    The U.S. played without midfielder Pablo Mastroeni and defender Eddie Pope because of their red cards against Italy. Conrad made his first Cup start in place of Pope.

    This was the first meeting between the U.S. and Ghana.


    Ghana 2, United States 1

    Lineups: Ghana - Richard Kingson, John Pantsil, John Mensah, Habib Mohamed, Illiasu Shilla, Michael Essien, Derek Boateng (Otto Addo, 46), Stephen Appiah, Haminu Draman (Alex Tachie-Mensah 80), Matthew Amoah (Eric Addo 59), Razak Pimpong. United States - Kasey Keller, Steve Cherundolo (Eddie Johnson 61), Jimmy Conrad, Oguchi Onyewu, Carlos Bocanegra, Claudio Reyna (Ben Olsen 40), Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan, DaMarcus Beasley, Eddie Lewis (Bobby Convey 74), Brian McBride.

    Scoring:
    Ghana - Draman (unassisted) 22.
    United States - Dempsey (Beasley) 43.
    Ghana - Appiah (penalty kick) 47+.

    Shots: Ghana 9, United States 7. Saves: Ghana 1, United States 2. Corner kicks: Ghana 2, United States 7. Fouls: Ghana 32, United States 16. Offside: Ghana 8, United States 6. Yellow card cautions: Ghana - Essien 5, Shilla 32, Mensah 81, Appiah, 91+; United States - Lewis 7.

    Referee: Markus Merk (Germany). Assistant referees: Christian Schraer (Germany), Jan-Hendrik Salver (Germany). Fourth official: Toru Kamikawa (Japan). Attendance: 41,000 at Frankenstadion in Nuremberg, Germany. Weather: 72 degrees, mostly cloudy.

    This story was compiled by SoccerTimes publisher and managing editor Gary Davidson from reports by senior correspondent Robert Wagman and European correspondent Chris Courtney, both in Nuremberg, Germany.

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