That was never a penalty. While I can't blame the ref for our poor finishing, I can blame the ref for giving Ghana a freebee. I can also blame the ref for not carding the two or three flagrant dives from the Ghana side. That said, with the exception of a clever backheel from McBride that ended up fizzling into nothing, the US lacked any kind of creativity. Our counterattacks, until the last fifteen minutes, were far too slow. We didn't press enough in the first 20 minutes of either half. Our bright moments were few and far between, but they were there. Lewis did a good job with his crosses; Dempsey was all over the field for the first sixty minutes and hammered a fantastic shot into the back of the net; Beasley finally put in a good effort, grabbing an assist, winning a lot of balls in the midfield (even if they didn't amount to much), and helping out the back line; and McBride broke my heart with his header off the post. And I was happy to see Ben Olsen get a CAP, even if he didn't contribute much. Donovan looked sluggish. I think putting Convey in was a mistake. I would've dropped O'Brien in. We needed someone with a little more of a creative mind.
All in all, I would say it was a pretty mediocre game. It's a shame that the ref had such a heavy hand in its outcome. At least there's some hope with our next generation of players... Adu, Convey, Quaranta, Johnson, and Donovan and Beasley still have another cup left in them. South Africa in 2010!