Group E Czech Republic - 6 pts +2 GD United States - 5 pts +2 GD Italy - 4 pts +2 GD Ghana - 1 pt -6 GD Matchday 1 United States 2 - 0 Czech Republic Italy 3 - 0 Ghana USA surprised the Czechs with some early pressure and eventually scored off a corner kick in the 14th minute. The Czechs regrouped and had some good attempts on goal, but Keller made some fine saves. As the half was winding down the Czechs got caught too far up field and the USA stole the ball and scored on a breakaway counterattack to go up 2-0. In the 2nd half the Czechs dominated the play, but Keller and the defense held firm and kept the shutout. Italy showed their class early and Totti scored just 10 minutes into the game. The Azzuri had a few more chances in the first half, including an open header by Vieri, but the Ghana keeper made a great save on it. Ghana earned a few shots early in the 2nd half but couldn't beat Buffon. Then Italy regained control of the game and Totti smashed in a shot from at least 20 meters out, right over the keepers head to make it 2-0 in the 64th minute. Nine minutes later (73rd minute) Vieri got another chance to head in a ball, and didn't miss this time, increasing the lead to 3-0. Italy took their foot off the gas and were content with that scoreline. Matchday 2 Czech Republic 3 - 0 Ghana Italy 1 - 1 United States Ghana had an amazing diving header in the 12th minute, and clearly beat Cech, but it somehow hit the crossbar and didn't score. Muntari put the ball into the net in the 18th minute, but the refs saved the Czechs and ruled it offsides. Around the 40th minute the ball got knocked into the Ghana penalty box and somehow found its way to Nedved's feet and he tapped it into the goal to give the Czechs a 1-0 lead heading into half time. The Czechs had to play with just 10 men for the entire 2nd half after the left wingback was sent off within seconds of the restart. Ghana had several chances to equalize with the reduced defense, but somehow could not put it past Cech. Then, against the run of play again, the Czechs earned a corner and Koller rose above everyone to easily head it in. It was 2-0 for the Czechs with just 20 minutes left in the game. The Czechs scored another ridiculous goal in the closing minutes of the half as another skirmish in the box resulted in another Czech goal. The game ended 3-0 for the Czechs despite Ghana dominating most of the match. USA nearly got the first goal on a corner kick in the 20th minute when McBride won the ball in the box, but Buffon made a diving save to keep it out. Italy responded on the other end, in the 33rd minute, with a ball swung in from the left. Vieri got to it first, and headed it past Keller. The score stood at 1-0 heading into half time. Right after half time, in the 50th minute, the USA scored the equalizer as Italy failed to clear it and Buffon was too slow getting across the line. A half hour passed without much action, then Italy won a corner kick and Vieri nearly got his third goal of the tournament. Keller made the save though, and the score stood at 1-1 until the end of the match. Matchday 3 Czech Republic 2 - 1 Italy United States 0 - 0 Ghana Baros nearly scored in the 8th minute, beating Buffon but hitting the post. Smicer and Rosicky also narrowly missed a few chances as the Czechs dominated the opening 25 minutes of the half. Italy then scored on a fantastic shot by Fiore who caught Cech out of his net in the 35th minute. Finally, in the 64th minute Baros sent a rocket of a cross into the box and Smicer met it in stride, forcing it into the net and leveling the score at 1-1. The Czechs kept up the pressure and Baros forced Buffon into an amazing save. A corner was conceeded though and on the the following kick Smicer won the ball and scored again, 2-1 for the Czechs!! The Czechs held firm in the final 10 minutes and finally earned a victory, clinching a spot in the next round. The USA, needing at least a draw to advance, came out with a conservative strategy. They were more worried about not letting Ghana (who hadn't scored a goal all tournament) score than trying to score themselves. Ghana, already eliminated due to the USA-Italy draw, had no ambition of taking the game to the USA either. This caused the first half to be very dull, ending as it started, 0-0. The second half didn't see a lot of action either and both sides were content to settle for the draw. It would send the USA through and give Ghana a respectable end to their World Cup campaign. *I used Winning Eleven 8 international with 5* difficulty on 15 minute halves. I let the CPU control both teams for every game. I did this so that my (lack of) skills wouldn't affect the outcome.