United States 4-0 Ghana (Oct 17, 2023) Game Analysis

Giovani Reyna scored his first goal for the United States since 2021 in a 4-0 friendly win over Ghana at Geodis Park in Nashville, Tennessee on Tuesday night.

The Americans bounced back in style from Saturday’s 3-1 loss to Germany, with Christian Pulisic and Fowler Balogan scoring after Reina scored in the 10th minute.

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It was Raina’s second game with the U.S. since last year’s World Cup — he was used sparingly because of off-field issues — and he used his place in Gregg Berhalter’s starting XI to score his first goal with the national team. Squad vs Costa Rica from June 9, 2021

Raina has returned to fitness since suffering a broken leg last June and played his second straight first half. The 20-year-old midfielder’s first game under Berhalder is against Germany on Saturday after the pair’s collapse in Qatar.

“Geo, what I’ve seen from practice No. 1 this camp is extreme focus and skill,” Berhalter said. “So when he plays like that, like he’s done this whole camp, he’s definitely a guy that can help this team, and it’s great to see him respond that way.”

Reyna told the U.S. Soccer Federation that he did not want to speak to reporters after the game. He did not speak to the media following the national team matches after the World Cup.

Raina added his second goal after the U.S. was awarded an indirect free kick in Ghana’s box, and Pulisic rolled the ball in front of his teammate and set up a close range finish to give the Americans a 4-0 lead at the break. .

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Gio Raina celebrates with his US teammates after scoring a goal against Ghana in a friendly in Nashville.

After the U.S. began its second term with four friendlies, Berhalter leads the Americans into the two-legged CONCACAF Nations League quarterfinals next month for a spot in the 2024 Copa America.

Ghana knocked the USA out of the 2006 and 2010 World Cups, and the Americans opened the 2014 tournament with a win over the Black Stars. The 11th-ranked USA achieved its highest margin of victory against African opposition in 2000 against South Africa.

The Americans went ahead after Sergino Test dived towards goal and passed wide to Balogun, whose cross bounced off defender Nicholas Opoku. The ball fell to Raina, who curled a right-footed shot from 12 yards.

Pulisic slotted home a penalty kick past Gideon Mensah and Tim Weah for his 28th international goal.

With the United States under pressure, Weah set up the third goal when Jerome Oboku failed to control a pass down the flank. Weah took the ball and centered Balogun, who spun as he took a touch and scored his third goal in six appearances from the middle of the penalty area.

Raina got his second goal from an indirect free kick 10 yards out, awarded when Opoku sat on the ball. Reina poked the ball to Pulisic, who tapped it in and Reina kicked the ball into the roof of the net.

“Apart from the goals, how he brings the players into the attack,” said Berhalter, “how he is able to stay calm on the ball and give us the calmness and balance we need at times, but in the finals it is decisive. Aces.”

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There was little pressure on American goalkeeper Matt Turner, but he tipped Mohamed Kudus’ 41st-minute shot over the crossbar.

German-born midfielder Leonard Maloney, 24, came on in the 65th minute for his 60th U.S. debut under Berhalter.

No. 60 Ghana lost 2-0 against Mexico and snapped a five-match unbeaten run under Chris Hughton, who took over as coach in February. The qualifiers for the Black Stars Open World Cup are next month.

As one of the co-hosts, the United States automatically gets a chance to compete in the World Cup.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this story.

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