Expectations were high, perhaps too high for an American team that seemed plenty spunky but rarely matched the skill of its opponents.
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A week after The Black Stars stunned the Czech Republic, Michael Essien (left) and teammates were not nearly as impressive or assertive against the Americans.
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The U.S. couldn't mount a consistent attack to challenge Ghanaian keeper Richard Kingson. Striker Brian McBride sent a diving header off of the left post in the second half for one of the team's few scoring threats. Despite the outpouring of support from American fans inside the 45,000-seat stadium in Nuremberg, the U.S. couldn't pull of the win that it needed to advance.
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There was no shortage of passion from goal keeper Kasey Keller and the Americans. Still, the U.S. couldn't match its quarterfinal performance from 2002
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Matthew Amoah and the Ghanaians joined the Ivory Coast as the only teams from Africa to a win a match in this year's tournament.
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A lone bright spot in an otherwise disappointing tournament for the U.S., Clint Dempsey blasted home a 10-yard shot off a gorgeous cross from DaMarcus Beasley.
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Clint Dempsey gave U.S. fans reason to celebrate but the team's fortunes turned on a penalty on defender Oguchi Onyewu, who was called for pushing down Razak Pimpong. Ghanaian captain Stephen Appiah converted the penalty shot to give Ghana a 2-1 lead.
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The Americans struggled to find offensive consistency throughout the World Cup. Before Dempsey's goal in the 43rd minute of Game 3, America's only other score had come in Game 2 against Italy, when an Italian player deflected the ball into the net. Poor offense was one of the reasons the US finished in the cellar of Group E.
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Playing in its first World Cup, the young Ghana team has defeated the U.S. and the Czech Republic, and plays defending champion Brazil next.
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Ghanaian fans wasted no time going berserk for their beloved team, which finished second in Group E.
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Many expected striker Landon Donovan to rise to the occasion for a must-win elimination game. His woes continued as he failed to score a goal or have any serious impact in the loss to Ghana.
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