As the coach of the U.S. National Team during the 2010 World Cup, head coach Bob Bradley‘s team was sent home by Ghana in the Round of 16. Almost four years later, as the head coach of Egypt, Bradley’s demise will once again be at the hands of Ghana.
Egypt vs Ghana was one of the more intriguing of Africa’s five playoff match ups to conclude 2014 World Cup Qualifying, but it quickly turned into its most lopsided match up, as Ghana got off to a fast start and finished off a 6-1 win over the Egyptians in the first leg of the playoff on Tuesday. Such a result will make it virtually impossible for Egypt to make up the difference in the aggregate score during the second leg, ending their hopes of qualifying for next year’s World Cup in Brazil.
In a move that wasn’t surprising to U.S. fans, Bradley was conservative with his starting lineup against Ghana. He was hoping for a draw in the match, or at least a one-goal loss in order to make the second leg meaningful. But with Ghana playing on their home turf, they quickly dashed any hope of a positive result for Egypt.
Ghana was far too fast, athletic and skilled in the midfield and up top for Egypt to handle. The Black Stars showed why they’re one of the top teams in Africa, as they bombarded Egypt’s back line with chance after chance, with nothing Bradley could do to stop it. Egypt had its share of scoring opportunities, but failed to execute the way they needed to in order to remain competitive with Ghana.
Egypt has nothing to be ashamed of; they put in an honest effort and, at times, played well. But it’s simply a matter of superior talent and athleticism, not to mention an excellent home crowd that lifted Ghana to such an impressive win.
Although there will be a second leg, Egypt’s chances of overcoming a 6-1 aggregate deficit are bleak. Ghana has doomed Bradley once again, just as they did in 2010 when he led the Americans to the World Cup.
Despite the disappointment, Bradley’s tenure with Egypt was quite successful, as he helped to rally a nation in turmoil behind a soccer team that came painfully close to qualifying for the World Cup. However, Ghana was once again the thorn in Bradley’s side, and the one team he simply couldn’t defeat.
Bryan Zarpentine is a New York Mets writer at RantSports.com. He also writes frequently about the NFL, College Football, College Basketball, and International Soccer. Like him on Facebook, follow him on twitter @BZarp and add him on Google.