The United States beat Ghana, 2-1, on June 16 for its first win in the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Clint Dempsey scored the fifth-fastest goal in tournament history -- a score just 29 seconds into the game.
The United States beat Ghana, 2-1, in the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 16.
"Substitute John Brooks' late header helped the United States exact World Cup revenge on Ghana in an entertaining Group G match.
"The African side were looking to complete a hat trick of World Cup wins over the Stars and Stripes, having beaten them 2-1 in both Germany and South Africa.
"It had looked set to end in in a draw after Clint Dempsey's early strike was cancelled out by Andre Ayew, only for half-time replacement Brooks to head home in the 86th minute to secure Jurgen Klinsmann's side a 2-1 win in Natal.
"A month's worth of rain had fallen in the city in the days leading up to the Group G enconter but the match went ahead at Estadio das Dunas, which witnessed the opening goal after just 29 seconds as Seattle Sounders midfielder Dempsey showed neat footwork before slotting home.
"Jozy Altidore left the field on a stretcher with a hamstring strain after wasting a great chance to double the USA's advantage before they lost Matt Besler to a hamstring complaint.
"Those changes looked to disrupt the Stars and Stripes, whose goal was peppered through a one-sided second half and it was no surprise when Asamoah Gyan and Andre Ayew linked up for a classy leveller in the 82nd minute.
"However, four minutes later Besler's replacement Brooks was left unmarked and the defender duly headed home a Graham Zusi cross to secure victory.
"It was a frenetic match which started with Dempsey netting the fifth-fastest goal in the tournament's history.
"Collecting a Jermaine Jones flick, he showed excellent skill and poise to cut away from John Boyle and send the drive home with just 29 seconds on the clock."
According to a separate ESPN FC update, Dempsey's goal was the 12th one scored within the opening minute of a World Cup match. It was also the first such goal in 12 years -- the last time it was done was when Turkey's Hakan Sukur scored against South Korea in 2002.
Sukur's goal was the fastest ever in World Cup tournament history, per the same article.
ESPN FC also mentions Dempsey as the first player from a CONCACAF nation to score a goal in the first minute of a World Cup game. Dempsey is also credited with three of the United States' four opening-minute goals across all tournaments covering a 15-year span.
Dempsey told ESPN FC he was proud of his team's resilience:
"It was a dream come true. We showed a lot of character. We have to do a better job at keeping possession and building out the of the back. We have to stay sharp on set pieces.
"This win will give us the confidence going into the next game. The boys showed a lot of heart. Our fitness showed."
On the other hand, Ghana's coach Akwasi Appiah chimed in on his team's loss, per ESPN FC:
"What I can say is that it was a very tough game. Playing at this high level, any little mistake can cost you dearly.
"We didn't deserve the first goal against us. As for the game itself, we did possess and create a lot of chances.
"When you create chances and aren't able to finish, it gives you doubts. Looking at the players we have, we will try to make amends."