The United States was eliminated from the World Cup by Ghana for the second straight time, as Asamoah Gyan scored 3 minutes into overtime, leading the Black Stars to a 2-1 second-round victory Saturday night.
Kevin Prince Boateng put Ghana ahead when he stripped the ball from Ricardo Clark in the 5th minute and beat goalkeeper Tim Howard from 16 yards.
Once again, the U.S. came back, and Landon Donovan tied the score with a penalty kick in the 62nd minute after Jonathan Mensah pulled down Clint Dempsey streaking in.
But no matter how much the Americans pressured after Gyan scored, they couldn't tie it again.
In the first-ever extra time World Cup game for the U.S., Gyan got the winning goal when he took a long ball from Andre Ayew over the defense and beat U.S. captain Carlos Bocanegra, his teammate on the French club Rennes. Gyan let the ball bounce, took a touch with his chest, and with Jay DeMerit vainly trying to catch up, scored over goalkeeper Tim Howard with a left-footed shot from 16 yards.
There was no late magic this time to equal Donovan's injury-time goal against Algeria that moved the Americans into the second round. The closest the U.S. came to tying it again was in the 98th minute, when Maurice Edu's header off Donovan's corner kick went wide.
With Howard pushed up, DeMerit's desperation long shot in the final minutes went over the crossbar. Then Dempsey sent a header wide.
At the final whistle, Howard consoled Bocanegra and Maurice Edu collapsed to the ground. Donovan exchanged jerseys with a Ghana player and walked off the field, put on a coat, sat on the bunch and hung his head.
Meanwhile, the only African team left in the tournament celebrated moving into the quarterfinals against Uruguay on Friday in Johannesburg.
The U.S. and Ghana were level at 1-1 through 90 minutes at Royal Bafokeng Stadium before Gyan ran onto a long pass and held off defenders Carlos Bocanegra and Jay DeMerit to smash a left-foot shot over goalkeeper Tim Howard from about 12 yards.
Kevin-Prince Boateng had put Ghana ahead in the fifth minute with a low shot from the edge of the area. He ran into space that opened as DeMerit kept retreating, then sent a ferocious shot that beat the diving Howard at his near post.
Landon Donovan equalized with a 62nd-minute penalty after Jonathan Mensah got his second yellow card of the tournament, ruling him out of the quarterfinals, for swiping away Clint Dempsey's legs as he broke from deep.
Donovan crouched in contemplation as he prepared to take the penalty kick, picking at the grass and ignoring the players around him before getting up to steer his kick in off the right-hand post.
It was Donovan's U.S.-record fifth goal at the World Cup and 45th in international football.
The United States threw Howard into attack for injury time at the end of the match, but Ghana goalkeeper Richard Kingson punched the ball away from a corner and the Americans never came any closer.
Both teams created enough chances to have won the game in normal time, with Ghana dominating the first 45 minutes before United States coach Bob Bradley stabilized his team at halftime with the second of two substitutions.
United States midfielder Ricardo Clark, recalled to the starting lineup in an attempt to add solidity to the American midfield, had given Ghana its first real opening when he gave the ball away under pressure in the center circle.
Ghana defended in numbers to deny space for the likes of Donovan and Dempsey to attack from deep, and countered swiftly through Boateng, Dede Ayew, Kwadwo Asamoah and Gyan when it did win possession.
United States: Tim Howard, Steve Cherundolo, Carlos Bocanegra, Jay DeMerit, Jonathan Bornstein, Landon Donovan, Michael Bradley, Ricardo Clark (Maurice Edu, 31), Clint Dempsey, Jozy Altidore (Herculez Gomez, 90), Robbie Findley (Benny Feilhaber, 46).
Ghana: Richard Kingson, Hans Sarpei (Lee Addy, 73), Asamoah Gyan, John Pantsil, John Mensah, Anthony Annan, Samuel Inkoom (Sulley Muntari, 113), Jonathan Mensah, Dede Ayew, Kwadwo Asamoah, Kevin-Prince Boateng (Stephen Appiah, 78).