After 90 brutal minutes of end-to-end action, the Americans emerged with a thrilling 2-1 win over Ghana. US fans were screaming for revenge today after the Black Stars eliminated the Americans from the last two World Cups. They got it. At a price. Clint Dempsey scored a shocking goal a half-minute in, but the US couldn't make it stand up. Andre Ayew tied the score in the 82nd minute after a brilliant back-heel pass from Asamoah Gyan, who had eliminated the US four years ago. And 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.
(He replaced Matt Besler, who came out at the start of the second half after feeling tightness in his right hamstring.) 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 had made his national team debut only last August, and Brooks hadn't scored in four appearances. US 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. 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: Jozy Altidore's left hamstring gave out in the 21st minute; he awaits tests that will determine whether he can return for this World Cup. (Read more 2014 World Cup stories.)