Team USA has had a lot of critics in general. They were portrayed as underdogs by just about everyone. Tonight, Team USA proved that Ghana will no longer dominate them. Ghana did not defeat the United States for the third consecutive time.
This game had as much drama, twists and turns as a Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader battle in Star Wars. It started out when USA Team Captain Clint Dempsey scored one of the fastest goals in World Cup history, just 34 seconds into the game. It looked like the USA had Ghana by the throat right then and there. Then a tragedy of sorts struck the USA, temporarily sucking the energy out of them and the USA fan base. Jozy Altidore, who is arguably the USA’s best scoring threat, suffered a pulled hamstring just twenty three minutes into the game. Aron Johansson came in to substitute for Altidore.
Speaking of substitutes, a rare moment occurred late in this game. With the game tied at 1 via the Ghana goal by Andre Ayew, John Brooks came into the game in the second half. What happened in the end was as rare as a Major League Baseball player hitting for the cycle or better yet as rare as a Pitcher throwing a perfect game. Brooks Jr. scored the game winning goal with just 14 minutes left in the match (5 minutes were added at the end). Just after it seemed history may repeat itself, Brooks Jr. delivered the knockout punch and Team USA was determined to hang on to the 2-1 lead.
“Some players had a dream that I scored in the 85th minute”, a jubilant Brooks Jr. said in the post-game press conference.
Team USA had a tough battle on their hands tonight. With Altidore injured, Dempsey temporarily out in the first half after suffering a bloody nose, the hot and grueling conditions on the field, and Ghana’s tenacious fast paced offense, the odds of victory were not in USA’s favor. In fact, a draw seemed likely.
USA Goalkeeper Tim Howard made many saves as Ghana shot for goals 21 times, only scoring once. Ghana had possession for 59% of the game.
Resiliency may be mottos for Team USA from this point on. This was a learning experience and a great one that resulted in a win.
Ghana on the brink of elimination
Ghana may not last much longer. They are going against one the favorites to win the World Cup, Team Germany. The Germans are one of the most established FIFA teams with 3 total World Cup Championships. According to the FIFA web site, Germany is currently ranked as the second best team in the world. It is very likely Ghana will lose to Team Germany.