The United States Men’s National team defeated Ghana 2-1 for the first time in their World Cup history in a hot and humid Natal.
Clint Dempsey scored in 34 seconds of the game starting on an early touch from Jermaine Jones. Dempsey worked his way around several Ghana defenders to send the ball to the right post and knock it in for an early lead.
American striker Jozy Altidore went down in the 21st minute holding his left hamstring, later reported to be a sprained hamstring and will likely miss the rest of the World Cup. A couple incredible saves from goalie Tim Howard helped the USMNT defense that looked shaken around the back four.
Kyle Beckerman went up for a header with Mohammed Rabiu and came down with an elbow to the face while Rabiu was awarded a yellow card. Asamoah Gyan sent a powerful ball to the goal in the 33rd minute but was saved by Howard and knocked away.
John Boye and Dempsey went up for a ball but Dempsey got Boye’s shin guard in his face and fell to the ground with an ugly looking nose injury. Dempsey was able to shake it off and was cleaned up before returning to the game. Ghana had a great chance at goal before the half but were unable to finish and the ball was cleared by Geoff Cameron.
With a score of 1-0 at the half and several missed powerful goal shots, Ghana sent in Kevin Prince-Boateng early on in the second half to try and gather some offense. Ghana was able to challenge the United States’ defense and had several successful chances on offense.
The 80th minute stated to show on the players performance as several substitutions were made and some players started to slow down. Ghana was able to equalize in the 81st minute on a goal from Andrew Ayew on a great pass inside the box. For a few minutes the United States seemed defeated and Ghana gained some much needed energy going forward for the finish.
On a corner kick from Graham Zusi, John Brooks was able to head in the leading goal and made it 2-1 in the 86th minute. Ghana continued to push on offense and with 5 minutes of extra time the United States defended their lead until the final whistle blew and gained a much needed 3 points in a very difficult group.
Ghana look to play Germany on June 21st in Fortaleza while the United States will take on Portugal on June 22nd in the jungle of Manaus.