Harry Kewell went from hero to goat in a matter of seconds.
The Aussie forward stopped a Ghana shot on the goal line in the 24th minute with what appeared to be his chest. The referee saw the ball graze off his upper arm as well, however, and the consequence was disastrous for the Socceroos: a red card to the Aussie star and a penalty kick to their opponents.
Asamoah Gyan stepped up for Ghana and slid the all just off the ground into the opposite side of the goal that Australian keeper Mark Schwarzer dove.
That evened the game up at 1-1 as the Aussies had struck first in the 11th minute of play. Marco Bresciano took a free kick from 30 yards out right on net forcing Ghana goalkeeper Richard Kingson to make a save that he just couldn’t handle. Brett Holman followed up the rebound and slotted it away into the high, left-hand corner of the net.
After that first chance, however, the Aussies could not put one away with ten men despite having several scoring opportunities in the final 15 minutes.
Kingson managed to get his body in the way of an Aussie breakthrough on two separate occasions. One of which he dove metres in the air across the net to retrieve the ball after making the initial save.
The Black Stars had their chances as well, narrowly missing the net on a header just before half time and during another chance, diving players watched as the ball crossed through the six yard box without being able to redirect it.
The referee kept his card-raising hand ready all game and after Kewell’s controversial red card gave out four other yellows for aggressive slide tackles and challenges.
The shots on net ended up being 6-5 in favour of Ghana while possession percentage was dead even.
With the tie, Ghana tops Group D with four points ahead of Serbia and Germany, both with three points, while Australia collected their first point of the tournament and resides at the bottom of the group.
The Socceroos will try to get their first win on Wednesday June 23 against Serbia, who will no doubt still be riding high off their surprise victory over the favoured Germans.
Ghana meets Germany that same day in a decision that will affect who continues on and whose World Cup 2010 journey ends at the group stage. At this point, any two teams can move on.