USA edge Ghana

by | Jun 16, 2014 23:53

A late header by John Brooks was enough to secure a dramatic 2-1 victory for USA against Ghana in World Cup Group G.

Andre Ayew's equaliser for the Black Stars minutes earlier looked to have rescued a point for his side in Natal before Brooks' late intervention secured a vital three points.

A late header by John Brooks was enough to secure a dramatic 2-1 victory for USA against Ghana in World Cup Group G.

Andre Ayew's equaliser for the Black Stars minutes earlier looked to have rescued a point for his side in Natal before Brooks' late intervention secured a vital three points.

Milan's Sulley Muntari and Juventus' Kwadwo Asamoah started for Ghana, while the likes of Michael Essien, Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu and Afriyie Acquahare were on the bench.

The West Africans were looking to go one step further than their impressive 2010 showing in the tournament, when they reached the quarter-finals.

States boss Jurgen Klinsmann meanwhile had no Serie A players at his disposal, though former Roma man Michael Bradley was included in the starting 11.

The Stars and Stripes made the best possible start to proceedings when after just 29 seconds, Clint Dempsey raced clear of the Black Stars defence and fired a low left-footed shot that evaded Adam Kwarasey and nestled in the bottom corner.

Ghana began to settle into the match following their early setback but the US continued to look the more dangerous on the break.

Klinsmann’s side suffered a real blow after 24 minutes, however, when forward Jozy Altidore pulled up with what appeared to be a hamstring problem. He was replaced by Aaron Johannsson and his tournament may well now be over.

When play resumed, Christian Atsu went close for the Black Stars, but his left-footed curling effort flashed marginally over.

Goalscorer Dempsey then received lengthy treatment of his own when he was inadvertently kicked in the nose by Ghana’s John Boye. The defender escaped with a booking for the indiscretion.

There were otherwise no more chances of note in the first period in what was a disappointing showing by James Kwesi Appiah’s team.

They improved considerably after the restart though. Muntari narrowly missed with an effort from distance, before Asamoah Gyan spurned a golden opportunity when he headed over unmarked.

He went even closer minutes later when he saw another header expertly tipped wide by USA keeper Tim Howard.

Black Stars icon Essien was then introduced to the action in the 71st minute, when he replaced Rabiu Mohammed, as his side continued to huff and puff for an equaliser. The States seemed content to hang on to their lead and were now offering very little as an attacking force.

With just under 10 minutes remaining, Ghana were finally and deservedly level. A fine move by the Africans ended with Gyan delightfully flicking the ball into the path of Ayew, who made no mistake by firing home.

The goal finally awoke the Americans from their slumber and, following five minutes or so of end to end action, they were ahead once more.

Substitute Graham Zusi swung in a corner which was headed in by defender Brooks. It triggered an emotional reaction from the player and sent the large American contingent of fans into raptures.

Klinsmann's team saw out the closing stages to secure a vital win.

Ghana 1 – 2 USA

Dempsey 1 (U), Ayew 82 (G), Brooks 86 (U)

Ghana: Kwarasey, Gyan (c), Opare, Atsu (Adomah 78), A. Ayew, Muntari, J. Ayew (Boateng 59), Rabiu (Essien 71), Mensah, Asamoah, Boye.

USA: Howard, Bradley, Besler (Brooks 45), Beasley, Dempsey (c), Bedoya (Zusi 77), Jones, Beckerman, Altidore (Johannsson 23), Cameron, Johnson.

Referee: Jonas Eriksson (Sweden)

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