June 13, 2010

South Africa to Santa Barbara: Day 3

Ghana's Win Rumbles in Soccer Town, U.S.A.


Follow the 2010 World Cup with the men's and women's UCSB soccer programs all tournament long on UCSBgauchos.com. "South Africa to Santa Barbara: The Cup is Coming" will provide daily commentary on the day's biggest storylines, featuring video interviews with Gaucho soccer players and men's head coach, Tim Vom Steeg. 

To view previous entries click here.

Long live Robert Green.

If coach Fabio Capello's side fails to advance from group play, the British tabloids will paint Green as the English Bill Buckner. Thanks to the goalkeeper's blunder at the goalmouth, the United States escaped with a 1-1 tie in its opening match of its 2010 FIFA World Cup.

A day after the Americans were saved by a goal line mistake, Algerian goalkeeper Fawzi Chaouchi's gaffe on a playable shot by Robert Koren gave Slovenia three points and first place in Group C. Although tied for second at one point apiece with England, a bit more pressure rests on the Yanks, as only a win over Slovenia and/or Algeria will satiate the taste of the U.S. to finish at the top of the table.

If the U.S. can manage do that, it would most likely avoid Germany, who's 4-0 stomping of Australia confirmed the Germans as the favorite to take Group D. While Bavaria toasted to the likes of Podolski, Klose, and Müller, a penalty kick by Asamoah Gyan of Ghana ignited a frenzy in Africa.

Gyan cemented Ghana's 1-0 win over Serbia, dedicating the game-winner to not only his fellow countrymen, but to the entire continent. The Black Stars became the first African team to win a match on its home continent in the tournament.

UC Santa Barbara midfielder Waid Ibrahim, one of two likely starters in the lineup for the 2010 UCSB men's soccer team from Ghana along with junior Michael Tetteh, assured that a win would set the nation into a weeklong celebration.

"It's going to be a national holiday, people throwing food away and celebrating all night," said Ibrahim. "It is going to be a celebration. It is tradition."

Teammate Machael David, housemates with Ibrahim and Tetteh, feels little solace in Ghana's win. The Super Eagles lost 2-0 to Argentina, forcing Nigeria to the bottom of Group B while still having to face a South Korea squad that didn't drop a match in the final round of World Cup qualifying.

On UCSB's Official 2010 World Cup blog South Africa to Santa Barbara: The Cup is Coming, David and Ibrahim explained that the rivalry between the two nations runs deep. To see the debate, click here.

While Ghana can take a day to celebrate, the U.S. must refocus after its satisfactory performance.

Check South Africa to Santa Barbara: The Cup is Coming tomorrow for analysis of the United States' 1-1 tie and the rest of the week for commentary of a World Cup that is exciting Soccer Town, U.S.A. and the hosts of the 2010 College Cup, being hosted by UCSB on Dec. 10-12 at Meredith Field at Harder Stadium.

The Gauchos' season ticket package makes it very convenient to see the likes of Ibrahim, David, and Tetteh play for a program that has appeared in every NCAA tournament since 2002. Packages start at just $75 and include one ticket to all home men and women's regular season games and one College Cup All Session ticket. UCSB staff and faculty can purchase their season tickets for a reduced rate of $50.