GHANA 1, USA 2 (WORLD CUP GROUP G)
LATE DRAMA SEALS VICTORY FOR USA AFTER EARLY DEMPSEY GOAL, JOZY ALTIDORE SUFFERS HAMSTRING INJURY
After the prime time snoozefest that was Iran vs Nigeria normal service for this World Cup was resumed with a goal within a minute for the USA who got going from the kick off knowing victory in this game would go a long way to qualifying from a group containing Germany and Portugal.
Clint Dempsey’s first minute goal appeared to be earning an American victory before Andre Ayew levelled the scores in the 82nd minute but substitute John Brooks’ header won it for them with four minutes to go as Ghana rued a poor return from dominating possession and having 21 shots on goal against the USA who had just eight.
American captain Clint Dempsey scored after 31 seconds after bustling through during the first attack of the game. It was the fifth fastest World Cup goal in history and Dempsey was the first American to score in three different World Cups.
Jozy Altidore could have extended the lead in the 19th minute but the goal-shy striker’s effort was blocked.
The luckless striker went down less than two minutes later while chasing a long ball out of the US defence. A hamstring pull meant the probable end of his World Cup as he was stretchered off.
USA coach Jurgen Klinsmann threw on 23 year old Aron Johannsson in his place but chances were at a premium for both sides as Ghana tried to build up a head of steam as they chased the game but were let down by poor finishing as the Americans successfully repelled the few decent efforts on Tim Howard’s goal.
Ghana needed a result from this game to have a chance of making it out of the group but they simply didn’t have their shooting boots with them in this game.
Asamoah Gyan finally tested Howard in the US goal after 35 minutes but the Everton ‘keeper collected the strike.
A high boot from John Boye hit Clint Dempsey in the nose causing the bloodied captain to go off for running repairs.
Ghana ‘keeper Adam Kwarasey was kept busy by a flurry of US attacks as the first half drew to a close but there wasn’t anything that forced him to make a save although Johannsson should have done better with the half chances that came his way.
The main excitement after the first minute goal was an injury time alternation between Sulley Muntari and Jermaine Jones when Muntari was accidentally kicked by the American in the aftermath of the Ghanian’s foul on Jones. The pair of them made amends immediately as the referee took an interest before Muntari thought better of grabbing Jones to retaliate.
Resorting to long range efforts, Christian Atsu, Sulley Muntari blasted wide and Asamoah Gyan twice headed over as Ghana radar continued to be wayward and Atsu wasted more opportunities.
Gyan’s strike was blocked on the line by Geoff Cameron and Kwadwo Asamoah finally forced Howard into a low save while Andre Ayew was taken by surprise by a late cross and couldn’t get a shot off on goal.
Ayew finally levelled the scores as the tiring Americans allowed a quality move with Gyan’s backheel creating space for a shot which finally beat Howard.
The drama wasn’t over, though and a needlessly conceded corner by Ghana allowed the USA to try a set piece. The result was an excellent Graham Zusi corner headed in by substitute Brooks with 4 minutes to go.