You are here: HomeSportsSoccer2006 03 02Article 100267

Soccer News of Thursday, 2 March 2006

Source: AP

Mexico 1 Ghana 0

FRISCO, Texas -- Mexico defeated Ghana 1-0 in an exhibition game Wednesday night on Guillermo Franco's goal in the 75th minute.

Franco, playing with an injured left quad, entered 11 minutes earlier and scored on a header off an assist from Luis A. Sandoval.

"I'm happy because of my leg and how it responded," Franco said. "I'm getting used to playing with the team and I would have been thankful even if I hadn't played."

Ghana is preparing for its first World Cup appearance. After opening against Italy and playing the Czech Republic, it faces the United States on June 17 in its final first-round game.

Mexico, grouped with Iran, Angola and Portugal at the World Cup, brought in many of its top players, including goalkeeper Oswaldo Sanchez and forwards Jared Borgetti and Omar Bravo.

"I was able to look at some new players and some old players and make some conclusions on who will make the World Cup team," Mexico coach Ricardo Lavolpe said.

Ghana's lineup included forward Michael Essien and midfielder Samuel Osei Kuffour.

"I'm disappointed because we did not come here to lose," Essien said. "But it's difficult because many of us haven't played together."

Borgetti nearly had two first-half goals for El Tri, but he misplayed a deflection near the Ghana net in the ninth minute and was stopped on an 18-yard shot in the 39th by goalkeeper George Owu.
Owu's best save came in the 49th minute, a diving two-handed stop of Bravo's header from about 6 yards.

"They (Ghana) played intelligent. They stopped us from moving the ball," Sanchez said. "We came out a little more aggressive in the second half."

Baba Adamu almost scored for Ghana in the 66th minute but his 20-yard shot sailed just high over the crossbar. The Black Stars also almost scored in the 44th minute after Sanchez came off his line, but Elvis Hammond's shot went wide.

Wednesday's loss was Ghana's second consecutive defeat of the year - they had lost 1-2 to Zimbabwe during their final Group D game at the last African Cup of Nations finals in Egypt.

LINEUP: Ghana.- George Owu, John Mensah, Emmanuel Pappoe, Samuel Kuffour, Hans Sarpei, Otto Addo, Michael Essien, Razak Ibrahim (I Ansah, 86), Sulley Muntari, Elvis Hammond (Baba Adamu, 54) Patrick Agyemang (Alex Mensoh, 74).

M?xico.- Oswaldo S?nchez, Ricardo Osorio, Joel Huiqui (Gonzalo Pineda, 46), Francisco Javier Rodr?guez, Diego Mart?nez (Andr?s Guardado, 46), Jos? Antonio Castro, Mario P?rez (Alonso Sandoval, 68), Pavel Pardo (Gerardo Torrado, 69), Luis P?rez (Luis Angel Land?n, 76), Omar Bravo (Guillermo Franco, 63) y Jared Borgetti. DT Ricardo La Volpe (ARG).