The United States defeated Ghana - America's "nemesis" as one ESPN analyst put it - with an astonishing late goal by a young substitute who was thrown into the game after one of the US star players sustained injury earlier in the game. The goal was historic because it was the first time in the history of the US in the World Cup that a US sub player scored a goal in the tournament.
After suffering heartbreaking loses at the hands of Ghana in close games at the World Cup in both 2006 and 2010, the US win was significant symbolically. The win was also significant in terms of standings. The US is in Group G - which also includes powerhouses Portugal and Germany - and has thus been dubbed (probably over dramatically) as the "group of death". They need the points for the tough matches they face ahead against Portugal and Germany.
The US came out strong, scoring the fifth earliest goal in the tournament's group play history when they struck just under 30 seconds into the game. Clint Dempsey was the goal scorer in the first minute of the match to give US an early lead:
The US held onto this lead until the 82nd minute of the game when André Ayew scored for Ghana:
It wasn't long before the US took the lead again. In the 86th minute, John Brooks Jr. - a 21-year-old off the bench as a sub who wasn't expected to play and very nearly didn't even make the team - scored a significant goal that's importance can be summed up in his emotional reaction after he scored it:
Brooks was needed when the second US player had to leave the game with injury by half time. Here is the goal, which was headed into the net off of a corner kick:
Here, US coach Jurgen Klinsmann celebrates the go-ahead goal. He had great reactions all game - which will be subject of another post.