United States 2 – Ghana 1

Took only 32 seconds for Clint Dempsey to punch the Black Stars in the mouth. Fastest US goal ever in the World Cup. Fifth fastest ever in the tournament. It was a very quick and pretty move. Got things started.
There was plenty of back and forth between these sides. Ghana has been a bane to the US World Cup existence. They tried valiantly to even things up. Which led to plenty of US counters as well.
Losing Jozy Altidore in the 22nd minute is a big loss. He is a reliable goal scorer. Hopefully it is not a full loss for the tournament. Altidore coming up lame when running so hard; I really hope he didn’t do permanent damage. Aron Johannsson came on in his place. Johannsson did a serviceable job but did not change the game totally.
Then Matt Besler looked like he was cramping up as well. Since I am a Sporting KC fan; that is a blow in two different ways. Hoping that he is able to recover and it was just dehydration. That can be fixed quickly. Besler tough it out for the rest of the first half. John Brooks came in for him. And his impact was felt. One both sides of the pitch.
The game was hotly contested. But there was no breaking the impasse for a long time. There was just too much energy. Both teams wanted this game.
There was a lot of pushing and shoving. Clint Dempsey got kicked in the face. Kyle Beckerman ended up getting pushed around while he was on the ground in a weird play. There was a lot of tickie-tackie stuff. But only two yellow cards were issued.
Graham Zusi another Sporting KC player also came in to play midfield. He was able to keep the pressure on. Much the same as Kevin Prince Boateng infused the Black Stars. Along with a great crowd; there couldn’t have been more energy in the stadium.
That energy translated into a late goal for Ghana. Their pressure became too much for the U.S. defense in the 82nd minute. Andre Ayew found the back of the net on a very clean strike. Tim Howard did his best but this was a very fast ball that could not be stopped.
Since it was late in the game; it could have gone a variety of ways. Ghana’s pressure could have continued. Or it might have been the third draw of the tournament.
Luckily for the US there was a corner in the 86th minute. John Brooks was able to get a head on it and put it into the net. First time a US substitute was able to score in the World Cup.
Ghana played a great game. They are going to be tough in their next two games. I think not starting Kevin Prince Boateng was a big mistake. He will face his half-brother in the Germany game. They could have had more but the US defense was far too stout.
For the US they will have to do more of the same. They faced Germany in a friendly last year and won. But that was a friendly in the US. This is a much bigger stage. And I think that this squad is prepared. Despite the injuries; this squad did not quit. They continued to fight. They are going to need that fight to get through this “Group of Death”.
Portugal even with their injuries is going to be tough to beat. They are a seasoned bunch.
Germany did put a hurting on this. Maybe this was just brilliance in their first game. Shall see.

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About drphlgoode

Just an Average Joe
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