[BRAZIL 2014]John Brooks, all of 21 and without any competitive experience for the USA, came off the bench to give the USA a 2-1 win over Ghana in a dramatic match in Natal.
Brooks' goal came in the 86th minute after Andrew Ayew's equalizer for Ghana four minutes later.
The USA had led for 81 minutes after Clint Dempsey, set up by Jermaine Jones, scored in the first minute.
The Americans could not generate much possession but held off the Black Stars until Kwadwo Asamoah and Asamoah Gyanteamed up to feed Dede.
But on a corner kick, Brooks, who just completed his first season of first division play in Germany, rose above Ghana defender John Boye, also beaten on Dempsey's goal, to head home sub Graham Zusi's corner kick.
Afterward, U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann said he had told his bench after the Ayew goal that more chances would come -- to the USA.
Dempsey played much of the game with what he thinks is a broken nose (suffered on a leg to the face by Boye). Jozy Altidore and Matt Besler were not so lucky. Altidore left the game with a strained hamstring midway through with a first half, while Besler left at the half with tightness in his hamstring.
"Everyone played their hearts out," said Dempsey.
"I said to the bench a few minutes before our winner, 'We are going to get some chances -- we need to push and grind it out.' We trained over and over on set pieces and it was well deserved. We have a great spirit and fight until the last minute. It was a grind but it was a wonderful one at the end of the day. There is stuff we need to improve. We had problems with keeping the ball."
TRIVIA.Dempsey's goal was the sixth fastest in World Cup history.
June 16 in Natal
USA 2 Ghana 1.Goal: Dempsey 1, Brooks 86; A.Ayew 82.
USA --Howard, Johnson, Cameron, Besler (Brooks 46), Beasley, Beckerman, Jones, Bedoya (Zusi 77), Bradley, Dempsey, Altidore (Johannsson 23).
Ghana -- Kwarasey, Opare, Boye, Mensah, Asamoah, Rabiu (Essien 71), Muntari, A.Ayew, J.Ayew (Boateng 59), Atsu (Adomah 78), Gyan.
Yellow Card:Ghana -- Rabiu 30, Muntari 90+2.
ShotsUSA 8 GHA 21
Shots on goal7 GHA 8
Corner Kicks 3 GHA 7
FoulsUSA 12 GHA 10
Possession USA 41 GHA 59