Ghana Cheers as Black Stars Burn Bright in Cup

Abigail Otoo, left, and Isabella Tettey watch the game. i i

A national half-holiday freed many fans to watch the game; Abigail Otoo, left, and Isabella Tettey were among them. Ofeibea Quist-Arcton hide caption

itoggle caption Ofeibea Quist-Arcton
Abigail Otoo, left, and Isabella Tettey watch the game.

A national half-holiday freed many fans to watch the game; Abigail Otoo, left, and Isabella Tettey were among them.

Ofeibea Quist-Arcton
The celebration begins as Ghana's win -- and a trip to the second round -- become official. i i

The celebration begins as Ghana's win -- and a trip to the second round -- become official. Ofeibea Quist-Arcton hide caption

itoggle caption Ofeibea Quist-Arcton
The celebration begins as Ghana's win -- and a trip to the second round -- become official.

The celebration begins as Ghana's win -- and a trip to the second round -- become official.

Ofeibea Quist-Arcton

Ghana, a West African nation with a passion for soccer, will play in the World Cup's Round of 16 for the first time in its history, thanks to a 2-1 win over the United States.

With the country declaring a half-day holiday so that its citizens could watch the U.S.-Ghana game, the fans of the Black Stars did their best to encourage the sole African nation still playing in the tournament.

The colors of the Ghanaian flag dominated wardrobes, as fans dressed in black, red gold and green to cheer on the national team.

The excitement built early, as Haminu Draman put Ghana ahead in the 22nd minute. Clint Dempsey equalized for the United States in the 43rd. But it was when the Black Stars' captain, Stephen Appiah, converted a penalty kick during stoppage time at the end of the first half that Ghanaians began to sense victory.

Despite several chances for both teams, there was no more scoring in the match. Ghanaians all over Accra jumped for joy as the final whistle confirmed Ghana's triumph. They will now advance to play the defending champions, Brazil.

In the capital of Accra, NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton watched the match on television with many enthusiastic fans.

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