It was a tough draw for the United States, kicking off the World Cup against Ghana, the team that eliminated them in 2010 and 2006. But this year the story had a happy ending for the Americans, who defeated their rival 2-1.
USMNT got off to a hot start in the match, with striker Clint Dempsey splitting the defense and finding the back of the net on a dramatic goal just 29 seconds in. It was the fifth-fastest score in the history of the World Cup.
The first-minute goal stunned the Ghanaians and sent the sizable crowd of American fans on hand into a frenzy.
The U.S. suffered a blow when starting forward Jozy Altidore was carted off the pitch on a stretcher midway through half. Altidore’s injury, which looked very serious watching in real time, has since been identified as a strained hamstring.
As of Monday evening, the severity of the strain and the amount of time he’s expected to miss are unknown.
At the other end, Ghana struggled to find a consistent rhythm on offense in the first half and the score remained 1-0 after 45 minutes of play. Although they did threaten more with each passing minute of the second half before finally tying it up on a beautiful goal by midfielder Andre Ayew.
The Americans looked tired late in the game, but had life breathed into them by two second-half substitutes. Reserve midfielder Graham Zusi sent a corner kick into Ghana’s penalty area where it was met by 21-year-old John Brooks, who headed the ball past Adam Kwarasey in net.
Brooks’ goal gave the U.S. a 2-1 lead in the 86th minute of play, and ultimately the win. Up next for USMNT is Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal, who were easily handled by Germany, losing 4-0.
The match will be played Sunday, June 22nd, at 6:00 p.m.