The United States national soccer team beat Ghana in their first game in the group round of the 2014 World Cup Monday night.

USA Beats Ghana At World Cup

U.S. came out onto the field in Brazil Monday determined not to let Ghana, who has knocked them out of the last two World Cups, get another win off of them. With less than a minute into the game, star forward Clint Dempsey dribbled through the left side of the penalty box and slid the ball inside the far post of the net for his squad’s first goal of the tournament.

With the one goal lead, the U.S. was able to settle into a possession game as Ghana fought to regain momentum. Eventually, the Ghanaians had their first legitimate chance to score, but were denied by American keeper Tim Howard, who sprinted off his line to make the save. About half way through the first half, Jozy Altidore was taken off the field with a hamstring injury, further aiding Ghana’s momentum, which led to another big-time save for Howard.

After Dempsey took a boot to the nose and received medical attention on the sidelines, the captain returned to the pitch but couldn't seem to get the U.S. back on track. Ghana peppered the U.S. box with crosses that the outside backs failed to stop from getting off. Center back Matt Besler, like Altidore, was struggling with pain in his hamstring and was replaced by John Brooks at halftime.

Ghana came out blazing at the start of the second half, proving dangerous with their superior speed. An equalizer looked imminent as Howard was forced to make a number of early saves and the Americans had little possession of the ball. Making matters worse, another American player, midfield Alejandro Bedoya, became the third starter to need a sub for hamstring trouble.

With less than eight minutes left in the game, Ghana’s Jordan Ayew scored the equalizer, making it seem likely that the U.S. would only be walking away with 1 point at most instead of 3.

Four minutes after Ayew’s goal, the U.S. got a corner kick and defender Brooks capitalized on the set piece to lift the U.S. back on top of the scoreboard. Holding on for the remainder of regulation and the five minutes of stoppage time, the U.S. put themselves in a good position to have a fighting chance of getting out of the “Group of Death” and moving forward in the World Cup with a 2-1 win.

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