USA gain revenge on Ghana in Natal

Last updated 12:45 17/06/2014
Reuters

The USA celebrates its dramatic World Cup win over Ghana. Sarah Toms reports.

John Boye
Reuters Zoom
Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo tries to escape the attentions of Ghana's John Boye.
Clint Dempsey
Reuters
QUICKFIRE: Clint Dempsey celebrates scoring a World Cup goal in about half-a-minute.

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USA fans were screaming for revenge today after the Black Stars eliminated the Americans from the last two Cups.

They got it. At a price.

Clint Dempsey scored a shocking goal a half-minute in, but the US couldn't make it stand up. Andre Ayew tied the score in the 82nd minute after a brilliant back-heel pass from Asamoah Gyan, who had eliminated the Americans four years ago.

And then, just four minutes later, 20-year-old John Brooks rose to head in Graham Zusi's corner kick from eight yards - the first substitute to ever score for the United States in 30 World Cup games over 84 years.

The defender, an unexpected addition to the American roster, was so overcome he fell to the field and was unable to move even after team-mates climbed off the dog pile. He had made his national team debut only last August, and Brooks hadn't scored in four appearances.

USA players ran onto the field to celebrate at the final whistle, jumping as supporters chanted ''U-S-A! U-S-A!'' Now the Americans are in good position in Group G, where Germany opened with a 4-0 rout of Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal.  US coach Jurgen Klinsmann had said this would be like a final.

Jozy Altidore was hoping it wasn't his finale.

The forward was carried off on a stretcher after his left hamstring gave out in the 21st minute when he tried to control a long ball. He awaits tests that will determine whether he can return for this World Cup.

Dempsey went down too on a balmy late-autumn night but stayed in the game. The USA captain ended the first half with a tissue up his nose to stop the bleeding after John Boye's kick to his face during a battle for a header in the 31st minute, and he was struggling for breath in the second.

Matt Besler came out at the start of the second half after feeling tightness in his right hamstring. It was his replacement, Brooks, who scored the winning goal. Zusi was also a sub, coming on for the hobbling Alejandro Bedoya in the second half.

By the time of the final whistle, the USA lineup had Brooks in central defense and a virtually invisible 23-year-old Aron Johannsson upfront.

Now the odds favour advancement. But that might depend on which players are able to make it on the field for next Monday's game against Portugal in the hot and humid Amazon rain forest capital of Manaus. 

Follow live commentary as the United States face Ghana in a Group G match at the Estádio das Dunas, Natal.

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