For the third time of its participance in the World Cup, the United States metÂ Ghana on the football field. For the first time in its World Cup history, the United States defeated Ghana.
“With dramatic goals coming in the opening and closing minutes, the U.S. men’s national soccer team outlasted Ghana, 2-1, in a thrilling clash between the World Cup rivals at Estadio das Dunas in Natal on Monday evening,” The Huffington Post describes the goal.
“The roller coaster rematch included enough highs, lows and bloody noses to ensure it is long remembered in U.S. Soccer lore. To the delight of theÂ large contingent of American fansÂ who made the journey to Brazil, reserve defender John Brooks scored the game-winning goal in the 86th minute.”
The publication adds: “The last-gasp header got the U.S. team off to a strong start in the formidable Group G – dubbed the “Group of Death” by many – and earned it a measure of revenge after suffering tournament-ending defeats to Ghana at the World Cup in 2006 and 2010.”
“It was a grind, but it was a wonderful win at the end of the day,” Klinsmann admittedÂ after the match.
Yesterday’s game certainly wasÂ a night to remember for the U.S. team. Less than a minute into the match, U.S. strikerÂ Clint Dempsey sliced through the Ghana defense for an opening goal.Dempsey’s goal that came on the 29th second of the game was the fifth-fastest ever scored at a World Cup,Â according to FIFA.com
The American team had a rude awakening from itsÂ extraordinaryÂ start in the 21st minute when forwardÂ Jozy Altidore went down with a left hamstring injury.
The 24-year-old stretchered onÂ the field and was soon replaced byÂ Aron Johannsson. Later the official Twitter account of U.S. Soccer announced that the playerÂ hadÂ suffered a strained left hamstring.
But unfortunately for the Americans, the injuries woes were just beginning. Dempsey was severely hurt and bloodedÂ by a kick to the face and defender Matt Besler would also grab for his hamstring later in the first half.
In a move that would pay dividends later in the match, Klinsmann called on Brooks to replace Besler at the start of the second half.
Ghana seemed to be much more dangerous as the second half progressed. The Black Stars broke through in the 82nd minute when a brilliant sequence of passing led to a goal by midfielder Andre Ayew.
“With many U.S. players looking exhausted as the clock ticked toward full time, it was two second-half substitutes who connected for a goal thatÂ sparked celebrations from Natal to Grant Park, from Denver to Birmingham,” writes The Huffingon Post.
“In the 86th minute, reserve midfielder Graham Zusi sent a corner kick into the Ghana penalty area. There were 13 players in the area when Zusi struck the ball. One, Brooks, reached the ball. The reserve defender, making just hisÂ fifth appearance for the U.S. national team, rose up and headed the ball down with force and it bounced past Ghana goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey and up into the roof of the net.”