Dempsey, Brooks give U.S. 2-1 win over Ghana

NATAL, Brazil — After 90 brutal minutes of end-to-end action, the Americans emerged with a 2-1 win over Ghana in their World Cup opener Monday.

“It was a grind, but it was a wonderful win at the end of the day,” USA coach Jurgen Klinsmann said.

U.S. fans were screaming for revenge Monday after the Black Stars eliminated the Americans from the past two Cups.

They got it. At a price.

Seattle Sounders star Clint Dempsey scored a shocking goal a half-minute in, but the U.S. couldn’t make it stand up. Andre Ayew tied the score in the 82nd minute after a brilliant back-heel pass from Asamoah Gyan.

Then, just four minutes later, 20-year-old John Brooks rose to head in Graham Zusi’s corner kick from 8 yards — the first substitute to ever score for the United States in 30 World Cup games over 84 years. The defender, an unexpected addition to the American roster, was so overcome he fell to the field and was unable to move even after teammates climbed off the dog pile. He made his national team debut only last August, and Brooks hadn’t scored in four appearances.

U.S. players ran onto the field to celebrate at the final whistle, jumping as supporters chanted “U-S-A! U-S-A!” Now the Americans are in good position in Group G, where Germany opened with a 4-0 rout of Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal.

“We got the three points that we badly wanted,” Klinsmann said.

He had predicted this would be like a final. Jozy Altidore was hoping it wasn’t his finale.

The forward was carried off on a stretcher after his left hamstring gave out in the 21st minute when he tried to control a long ball. He awaits tests that will determine whether he can return for this World Cup.

Dempsey went down too on a balmy late-autumn night but stayed in the game. The U.S. captain ended the first half with a tissue up his nose to stop the bleeding after John Boye’s kick to his face during a battle for a header in the 31st minute, and he was struggling for breath in the second.

The Americans “showed a lot of heart, a lot of character,” Dempsey said.

Tim Howard made big save after big save as Ghana outshot the U.S. 21-8.

Matt Besler came out at the start of the second half after feeling tightness in his right hamstring. It was his replacement, Brooks, who scored the winning goal. Zusi was also a sub, coming on for the hobbling Alejandro Bedoya in the second half.

By the time of the final whistle, the U.S. lineup had Brooks in central defense and a virtually invisible 23-year-old Aron Johannsson at forward.

Now the odds favor advancement. But that might depend on which players are able to make it on the field for Sunday’s game against Portugal in the hot and humid Amazon rain forest capital of Manaus.

More in Sports

Rams rout Seahawks 42-7 in NFC West showdown

Los Angeles built a 34-0 halftime lead and cruised to the victory.

Washington men stave off Loyola Marymount 80-78

Noah Dickerson’s 13 points in the final five minutes help Washington hold on

VIDEO: Postgame reaction to the Seahawks’ loss to the Rams

Seattle coach Pete Carroll and players speak after the Seahawks’ 42-7 loss to Los Angeles.

RPI has changed way hoops coaches approach non-league games

The implementation of RPI for state-tourney seeding has local basketball coaches thinking differently.

Everett’s Dustin Wolf stops a shot Saturday night at the Angels of the Winds Arena in Everett on December 16, 2017. (Kevin Clark / The Daily Herald)
Sivertips bounce back, rout Cougars 4-0

Dustin Wolf notches his first career shutout as Everett rebounds from a loss to beat Prince George.

How might NHL team in Seattle impact Silvertips?

A look at local reaction to the possibility of the NHL coming to Seattle.

Seahawks ditch ‘every game is the same’ mantra for Rams showdown

Seattle hosts first-place Los Angeles in what is essentially the NFC West championship game on Sunday.

Freshmen contributing for UW men’s basketball team

Mike Hopkins likes what he’s seen from his freshmen through… Continue reading

Saturday’s prep scores, recaps

BOYS BASKETBALL Neah Bay 61, Darrington 55 Bellingham 77, Sultan 55 Interlake… Continue reading

Most Read