Gyan fires Ghana into last eight

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Asamoah Gyan kept the African flag flying at the World Cup with a superb left-foot strike in extra-time as Ghana overcame the United States 2-1 to reach their first quarter-final.

It was the second time in successive World Cups that Ghana had defeated the United States, having effectively dumped them out of the tournament four years ago by beating them in the final group game.

Gyan's goal, after 93 minutes, was worthy of winning any game after he outmuscled USA captain Carlos Bocanegra to blast his shot past goalkeeper Tim Howard. It settled a contest that was level at full-time after Landon Donovan's second-half penalty cancelled out a fifth-minute strike from Kevin-Prince Boateng.

It was just reward for Ghana's talent and power in a dramatic encounter at the Royal Bafokeng stadium and the sole surviving African nation must now fancy their chances of creating an even bigger ripple at this tournament, with Uruguay awaiting them in the last-eight.

The Black Stars made a stunning start when Portsmouth's Boateng picked up the ball just inside his own half, slalomed past three defenders and drove an early left-foot shot past Howard.

The Americans could have equalised after 35 minutes when Robbie Findley raced clear only to see his right-foot shot smartly saved by goalkeeper Richard Kingson.

The USA came out after half-time, however, with a more determined, more attacking attitude and the excellent Kingson was straight into the action, forced to pull off a splendid save from Benny Feilhaber.

With Fulham's Clint Dempsey at the heart of their good work the Americans surged forward and they received their reward after 62 minutes. Dempsey was the architect, weaving his way through the Ghana defence into the penalty area where he drew the challenge and was brought down by defender Jonathan Mensah.

Hungarian referee Viktor Kassai pointed to the spot and Los Angeles Galaxy's Donovan stepped up to slide home his third goal in four matches. The USA had their chances to win as Jozy Altidore might have done better when clear after 80 minutes but he spooned his effort wide under pressure from a defender.

So to a frantic extra-time and Gyan's stunning strike which sent the USA home and Ghana into ecstasy.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Kevin-Prince Boateng
Jozy Altidore
Tim Howard
Premier League
Carlos Bocanegra
Richard Kingson
Clint Dempsey

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