News

USA tops Ghana in opening World Cup match

USA tops Ghana in opening World Cup match

WORLD CUP: United States' Clint Dempsey celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the group G World Cup soccer match between Ghana and the United States at the Arena das Dunas in Natal, Brazil, Monday, June 16. Photo: Associated Press/Ricardo Mazalan

By Michael Kahn

NATAL Brazil (Reuters) – A 2-1 win against a Ghana side that knocked the United States out of the last two World Cups will mean nothing if the Americans falter in their remaining Group G games, captain Clint Dempsey said on Monday.

The U.S. were beaten by Ghana in their final group stage game in 2006 and in the last 16 four years later.

“It just so happened we had history with Ghana,” said Dempsey, who scored after 29 seconds on Monday but also suffered a broken nose.

“They pretty much knocked us out of the last two World Cups but this win means nothing unless we build on it.”

PHOTOS: USA tops Ghana in opening World Cup match | EXTRA: It seems everyone is tweeting about the World Cup

The Americans hope they can carry the momentum into their next match with Portugal in Manaus on Sunday before taking on group favorites Germany in Recife as they bid to make the last 16 for the fourth time in the last seven tournaments.

A first step was finally beating Ghana and Dempsey’s goal also marked sweet vindication for a player who helped lead the American attack in the two previous defeats against the Black Stars.

In 2006, the U.S. equalized when Dempsey scored late in the first half only for Ghana to convert a penalty minutes later to take a 2-1 lead that would send them through to the knockout rounds and the Americans home.

The Americans again fell behind in their last 16 match in South Africa in 2010 before Landon Donovan equalized from the penalty spot – only for Asamoah Gyan to split the U.S. defense in extra time and lash the winner past Tim Howard.

Despite their early lead on Monday, it looked like Gyan would once again help break American hearts when his sublime backheel set up Andre Ayew’s 83rd minute equalizer after intense Ghana pressure.

A powerful header from substitute and World Cup debutant John Brooks three minutes later, however, gave the Americans their first win over their African rivals in three attempts.

“Any team you have beaten twice will come out very strong and I believe they came out very strong and they were determined not to lose a third time,” Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah said.

(Reporting by Michael Kahn, Editing by Justin Palmer)

Latest Headlines

in Entertainment

Jennifer Lawrence made billions this year

Fresh
Jennifer Lawrence arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1" at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on Monday, Nov. 17, 2014 in Los Angeles.

"The Hunger Games" star tops the list of the year's highest-grossing actors in Hollywood.

in Lifestyle

Yoga may be as heart-healthy as aerobics

Fresh
yoga

Those downward dogs could be as good for the heart as cycling, according to a new review of existing research.

in Entertainment

‘The Interview’ rakes in $18M

Fresh
theinterview

The raunchy comedy about assassinating N. Korea's Kim Jong Un made almost as much money online as it would have in a wide release.

in Trending, Viral Videos

TODAY’S MUST SEE: 4 people, 33 songs, 3 minutes

Fresh
17-overlay5

The top 33 songs of the year, in one epic mashup.

in Entertainment

Chris Rock splits from wife after 18 years of marriage

Fresh
chrisrock

The "Top Five" star has filed for divorce from his wife, Malaak Compton-Rock.