The USA finally got the revenge they’ve been waiting for for eight years.
In the past two World Cups the Americans and Ghanaians have clashed in the knockout rounds with the Black Stars coming away triumphant both times. And while this wasn’t a similar scenario, the stakes still remain high.
The game got off to a blistering start when forward Clint Dempsey gave the USA the lead after only 31 seconds had elapsed. Dempsey received the ball outside the box, weaved through the bewildered Ghanaian defense before slotting past the keeper.
Even USA coach Jurgen Klinsman couldn’t contain his excitement.
From there the Black Stars would settle down and control possession, carving out many chances but never really troubling goalkeeper Tim Howard.
Things would start getting pretty grim for the USA though, starting in the 21st minute when forward Jozy Altidore went down in a heap clutching his hamstrings while chasing a long pass from Michael Bradley. It was later reported that he suffered a strain of the hamstring.
That unfortunate incident would be followed by another when goalscorer Dempsey suffered what would appear to be a broken nose after he was kicked in face by John Boye.
The game then hit a bit of a lull through halftime and much of the second half as the Americans were finding it difficult to gain any sort of possession to forge a substantial attack. The Ghanaians pressed and pressed and eight minutes from time they broke through. Midfielder Andre Ayew latched onto a wonderful back-heel pass from Asomoah Gyan in the box before firing a powerful shot past a helpless Howard.
It was nothing less than the Ghanaians deserved up until that point and they seemed like they were destined to break American hearts again. That is until 21-year-old second-half substitute John Brooks decided to make a name for himself, scoring a headed goal in the 86th minute.
Brooks’ goal seemed to suck the fight out of the Ghanaian team as they couldn’t conjure up a threat to Howard’s goal before the final whistle. With Portugal losing handily to Germany on Monday, the USA suddenly finds itself in a great position to escape this group of death.
BSO Man of the Match: John Brooks