US stun Ghana with early, late goals

The United States got a dream start to their World Cup campaign when Clint Dempsey scored the fifth fastest goal in tournament history but they needed an 86th minute winner from John Brooks to secure a dramatic 2-1 Group F win over Ghana in Natal on Monday.

Dempsey drilled the ball into the net after just 32 seconds at the Dunas arena before Andre Ayew finally gave Ghana reward for their second half pressure with an equaliser seven minutes from the end of a physical and often testy match.

The contest looked destined for a draw until substitute defender Brooks rose to head Graham Zusi’s corner firmly into the back of the net and give the United States revenge over the team that ended their participation in the last two World Cups.

Juergen Klinsmann’s side will now go onto their next match against Portugal, beaten 4-0 by Germany in the Group G opener earlier on Monday, with renewed belief that they can reach the last 16.

“There are things we can improve on but we got the three points we badly wanted,” Klinsmann told U.S. television. “Ghana is a good team, they know how to grind the game. It was what we expected.”