NATAL, Brazil, June 16 (Reuters) - Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah said a lack of concentration caused his team to lose goals both early and late in a 2-1 defeat against the United States in World Cup Group G but he was confident his team would bounce back in their next two matches.
The U.S. got the quickest goal of the World Cup so far and the fifth fastest of all time when captain Clint Dempsey scored in a time recorded as 29 seconds.
Ghana fought their way back into the match when Andre Ayew got them a deserved equaliser in the 82nd minute but substitute John Brooks rose unmarked to head home a corner with just four minutes remaining and give the USA their first victory over the Africans.
“It was a very tough game,” said Appiah. “Playing at this high level any little mistake can cost you dearly. We created enough chances but we didn’t take our chances and the U.S. took their chances.”
“Before the game I said the U.S has a very good team considering they have won their last three or four games. I knew it was not going to be an easy game. I was not surprised the way they played.”
“At this high level any loss of concentration can cost you big time. The first goal really unsettled us for a little bit.”
Ghana had more possession and 21 shots to the United States’ eight and were unfortunate not to get a point from the game.
It was the third time the two teams have met at the World Cup and the third match to finish 2-1, although unlike in 2006 and 2010 this time it was the Americans who came out on top.
Nevertheless Appiah was upbeat about the Ghanaians chances of qualification, even though their next game is against a Germany side that demolished Portugal 4-0 in the other Group G game.
“In our first game we tried for a win or a draw and it’s unfortunate we lost the game but we have two more games to play,” Appiah said. “I believed we played really well and had a lot of chances but couldn’t take our chances.”
“We have two more games to play,” he said. “The next two games we will do well.” (Writing by Andrew Downie, Editing by NigelHunt)