The feeling of déjà vu was all too real for American soccer fans Monday. It was going to be the third-consecutive World Cup where Ghana spoiled a U.S. result, until defender John Brooks Jr. rewrote a new ending in favor of the red, white and blue.
Brooks was able to put away a Graham Zusi corner kick in the 86th minute to give the Americans the 2-1 victory and three crucial points in Group G of the 2014 World Cup.
With the U.S. poised to earn three points, Ghana was able to steal a late goal to knot the match up at 1-1.
For 81 minutes, U.S. forward Clint Dempsey was the hero for his country. Thirty seconds into the match, Dempsey received a pass from midfielder Jermaine Jones, crossed up a Ghanaian defender, and laced a shot into the back of the net to give the U.S. the early 1-0 lead.
Surprisingly, the goal still sits 29 seconds behind the fastest goal in World Cup history. Hakan Sukur of Turkey scored a goal 11 seconds into a match against Korea on June 29, 2002.
Ghana was left stunned and forced to regain their composure, but unfortunately for U.S. manager Jürgen Klinsmann and company, that didn’t take long at all.
The African powerhouse controlled possession throughout the rest of the first half and deep into the final 45 minutes, finishing the match with 62 percent of the possession.
That was the least of the U.S.’ concerns. In the 21st minute, forward Jozy Altidore pulled up with the left hamstring pull. He was taken off by stretcher, forcing Klinsmann to make an early substitution.
Ghana’s attack would eventually pay off in the 82nd minute with a stunning equalizer.
Andre Ayew used a perfectly-executed back heel pass from Kwadwo Asamoah to smash home a shot just past the fingertips of U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard.
With extra minutes on the minds of all who were watching, the Americans made it interesting and respond valiantly just four minutes later with Brooks Jr.’s header off the perfect Zusi cross, helping the U.S. climb into a tie for first place in their group with Germany.
The U.S. Men’s National Team will return to action Sunday in Manaus against No. 4-ranked FIFA side Portugal at 5 p.m. The Portuguese will be without star defender Pepe after he picked up a red card Monday in their loss to Germany.