The USA have opened their account at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in impressive fashion, scoring a late goal to do away with Ghana 2-1 at the Estadio das Dunas this morning.
Having had their appearances at the last two World Cup tournaments cut short at the hands of the Black Stars, the US were determined not to allow their African counterparts to register yet another victory and came out all guns blazing.
Maintaining possession from the game’s opening whistle, Captain Clint Dempsey gathered the ball around 30 yards out from the goal of Adam Kwarasey and worked forward, displaying incredible skill before finishing off his solo run and putting the Stars and Stripes one goal in the green less-than one minute in.
Continuing to lay pressure on the Ghanaian defence for the next 20 minutes, the United States were unlucky not to find the back of the net again and were dealt a massive blow when striker Jozy Altidore was stretchered from the pitch after suffering a likely tournament-ending hamstring injury.
In the heavy humidity play continued at a high tempo, however was once again halted when Dempsey took a rogue John Boye foot to the face during an aerial challenge, breaking the Seattle Sounders marksman’s nose.
Continuing to lead from the front, Dempsey quickly returned to action, but was unable to break Ghana’s back four before the half time break.
Beginning the second half in far-more positive fashion, Ghana began to control the run of play over the centre of the pitch and soon found themselves launching consecutive attacking raids on the United States’ goal; Everton sensation Tim Howard the only difference in several impressive chances.
Appearing to lack the final touch in every attack, Manager James Appiah introduced classy pair Kevin Prince Boateng and Michael Essien to the ranks; appearing to have an immediate effect as Ghana continued to press forward before an incredible 1-2 pass was promptly finished off by an untouchable Andre Ayew, levelling the scores at one a piece in the 82nd minute.
Noticeably taking their foot off the accelerator, Ghana continued to hold possession in the centre of the pitch, but were dealt a huge blow when an unlucky corner conceded led to an impressive goal off the head of John Brooks Jnr just four minutes from time, sealing the result and sending the USA to second in Group G on goal difference.
Ghana will now have to claim at least a point of European powerhouse Germany if any chance of progression to the knock-out stages of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, while the USA will be aiming to seal the deal against Portugal on June 23rd; a match for which they continue to feature at generous $5 odds for success at Ladbrokes.com.au.