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USMNT Defeats Rival Ghana in World Cup Opener

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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.

7.USA

Getty Images via Zimbio

Getty Images via Zimbio

Getty Images via Zimbio

Getty Images via Zimbio

Getty Images via Zimbio

Getty Images via Zimbio

Getty Images via Zimbio

Getty Images via Zimbio

Getty Images via Zimbio

Getty Images via Zimbio

Getty Images via Zimbio

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.

Getty Images via Zimbio

Getty Images via Zimbio

Getty Images via Zimbio

Getty Images via Zimbio

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.

Getty Images via Zimbio

Getty Images via Zimbio

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.

Getty Images via Zimbio

Getty Images via Zimbio

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.