World Cup: U.S. victorious, beats Ghana, 2-1

U.S. scores early and late to beat Ghana, 2-1, in its first World Cup match

In a thrilling match with Ghana, the U.S. team emerged with a 2-1 victory after scoring in the first minute and then again late in the game to answer a tying-goal.

The winning score by John Brooks Jr. of the U.S., a header, came minutes after Ghana tied the match in the 82nd minute.

The win leaves the Americans well-position in Group G after Germany embarrassed Portugal earlier in the day, 4-0. 

On the Americans' initial offensive foray after kickoff, Clint Dempsey scored to vault them ahead, 1-0, over Ghana. Only a half-minute had elapsed.

Ghana's Andre Ayew scored the equalizer in the 82nd minute but the lead was short-lived.

Brooks subbed in late in the first half and has positioned himself to be the hero for the U.S. with his score in the 86th minute.  

Dempsey, assisted by Jermaine Jones, penetrated the penalty box, shifting the ball from one foot to another, and nailed a bank shot off the far (right) post. Dempsey became the first American player to score in three World Cups. His goal -- against Ghana -- was the team's only one in 2006.

The remainder of the half was bittersweet. The U.S. lead stood firm, but striker Jozy Altidore was done after 21 minutes when he clutched his left lower leg and crumpled to the turf.

Altidore was toted away on a stretcher and replaced by Aron Johannsson, the young backup at a position frighteningly thin on experience. The diagnosis was a strained hamstring.

Ghana, though with a sizable upper hand on ball possession, did not launch a shot on goal until the 32nd minute.

Dempsey's nose had been bloodied by an inadvertent Ghanaian high kick, and he walked off for medical treatment, raising more injury concerns. Nostrils stuffed with cotton, Dempsey was quickly cleared to return, and his header just before halftime was the only decent U.S. chance to double the lead.

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