Ghana v USA and four more of football’s most obscure rivalries

The World Cup Group G duel between Ghana and the USA sees the renewal of what is somewhat bizarrely considered a footballing rivalry.

Kwesi Appiah’s men are 29/10 favourites to record their third straight victory over the Stars and Stripes, who are 9/5 for the win, with the draw priced up at 23/10.

What will be the third instalment in an enmity unfathomable to all bar, it turns out, the Americans, got us thinking about some of the game’s other more inexplicable rivalries.

That ‘soccer’ is a relatively adolescent sport in a relatively adolescent nation makes it easier to understand why American fans consider this clash a rivalry after just two editions, with Ghana none the wiser.

It dates back to a winner-takes-second-round-spot contest in the groups at 2006, when the USA, by that time at their eighth World Cup, regarded themselves favourites against the debutant Black Stars.

A dodgy penalty gave the West Africans a 2-1 lead they were never to relinquish and Bruce Arena’s men were sent packing with their tails between their legs.

It was a feat Ghana were to repeat in the 2010 second round, when Asamoah Gyan’s extra-time strike sunk a US outfit still on the crest of a wave after Clint Dempsey’s injury-time winner against Algeria had sprung them from the groups.

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