Jun 16, 2014 at 11pm UK at ​Arena das Dunas, Natal
Ghana
1-2
USAUSA
Ayew (82')
Rabiu (30'), Muntari (90')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Dempsey (1'), Brooks (86')

Live Commentary: Ghana 1-2 United States - as it happened

John Brooks of the United States scores his team's second goal on a header past Adam Kwarasey of Ghana during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group G match on June 17, 2014
© Getty Images
Relive USA's dramatic 2-1 victory over Ghana as the Americans score a late winner to open their World Cup campaign with three points.

USA avenged defeats in the last two World Cups with a 2-1 victory over Ghana in their opening Group G fixture in Natal this evening.

The Americans made a perfect start to the match with the fastest goal of the tournament so far as Clint Dempsey fired home with just 31 seconds on the clock.

Ghana had to wait until the 82nd minute for the equaliser as Andre Ayew beat Tim Howard, but they were level for just four minutes as substitute John Brooks nodded in from a corner.

You can read how another dramatic World Cup clash unfolded with Sports Mole's live coverage below.


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10pmGood evening! Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for tonight's World Cup Group G clash between Ghana and USA. Both sides will be desperate to get their campaigns off to a winning start having seen Portugal dismantled by Germany in the group's opening match early today, so hopefully we will be in for another open and entertaining encounter. The teams are already in for both sides, so let's take a look at who is on show tonight...

10.02pmTEAM NEWS: The biggest news from the Ghana camp is that there is no Michael Essien in the starting lineup after he failed to recover from knock in time to start tonight's match. Jordan Ayew is included, however, having impressed during his side's warm-up matches. For the States, Jozy Altidore leads the line with Clint Dempsey in support, while veteran duo DaMarcus Beasley and Tim Howard also play. Full team news for both sides on the way...

10.04pmGHANA STARTING XI: Kwarasey; Opare, Mensah, Boye, Asamoah; A.Ayew, Rabiu, Muntari, Atsu, J.Ayew; Gyan

10.04pmUSA STARTING XI: Howard; Johnson, Cameron, Besler, Beasley, Beckerman; Jones, Bradley, Bedoya, Dempsey; Altidore

10.06pmSo, what can we make of those lineups? Well, the loss of Michael Essien is clearly a big blow for the Ghanaians. The industrious midfielder may not be the player he once was, but he is still among his country's most important and would have brought plenty of experience to an otherwise young side. However, with Germany and Portugal still to come, it is a wise choice not to include him if he is short of full fitness.

10.08pmThe Americans will not need any reminding of how dangerous Asamoah Gyan can be for Ghana having been on the wrong end of an extra-time winner from the former Sunderland striker four years ago. Gyan has been imperative to Ghana's chances at the World Cup as well having scored four and assisted two of his country's nine World Cup goals. He was also their top scorer in qualifying with six and would pass Roger Milla as the highest-scoring African at the World Cup with two goals in Brazil.

10.10pmOne man USA will be glad not to see on the teamsheet is Kevin-Prince Boateng, as he starts on the bench. He joined Gyan on the scoresheet in South Africa when these two sides met in the last 16 four years ago, so Ghana certainly have plenty of experience in beating the States amongst their ranks. Kwadwo Asamoah, Sulley Muntari and the Ayew brothers will also pose a threat.

10.12pmJordan Ayew has not been an automatic starter for Ghana in recent times, but there was no way he could really be left out of this starting XI following his performances in his side's last warm-up match. He netted a hat-trick for the Black Stars as they ran out 4-0 victors over South Korea, and he will fancy his chances of keeping up that good form tonight.

10.14pmThe glaring omission from the USA side - and squad - is Landon Donovan, who was controversially left out of the 23-man party by Jurgen Klinsmann. His 157 caps and record-breaking 57 goals didn't earn him a place on the plane, opening the door for Jozy Altidore to start up front. The Sunderland man was ridiculed at times in the Premier League having managed just two goals in his 59 matches, but he was his country's top scorer in qualifying and netted a brace against Nigeria last time out.

10.16pmDespite there being no Donovan, there is certainly no shortage of experience out there for USA tonight. They have no fewer than three centurions in their ranks, with Tim Howard, DaMarcus Beasley and Clint Dempsey all having played more than 100 times for their country. Beasley will also become the first American to play in four different World Cups this evening, so that is a significant milestone for him/

10.18pmThe main man for USA is Michael Bradley in midfield. Back in the MLS after a stint in Europe, Bradley is widely regarded as the finest American midfielder of the current generation, and if he can find his top form and dictate matters in this match then it could go a long way towards helping his side pick up what would be a crucial victory. Klinsmann is expected to name a diamond formation, and Bradley will most likely be playing at the tip of it.

10.20pmThe result of this match is so key for both sides consider what lies in wait for them. Portugal were thumped 4-0 by Germany earlier today having been reduced to 10 men towards the end of the first half. They will be weakened for the next match having lost Pepe to suspension and picked up a couple of injuries, but when Cristiano Ronaldo is available it is always going to be a tough game.

10.22pmIf Ghana are the side to pick up the victory tonight then they would complete an incredible hat-trick over the United States. The two sides have met in the last two World Cups, with Ghana knocking USA out in the final group game of 2006 before winning in extra time of the last 16 four years ago. Both of those matches finished 2-1, and a 'three-peat' of that scoreline would do the Black Stars nicely tonight. Their 2010 campaign ended in the cruellest fashion when they were denied a certain winner by Luis Suarez's handball, before Gyan missed the penalty with virtually the last kick of extra-time and Uruguay when on to win via a shootout.

10.24pmThey would have been the first African side to reach the last four of the World Cup had they managed to beat Uruguay, but they had little trouble in reaching the finals again at the expense of a number of their continental counterparts. They finished top of Group D in qualifying, four points above Zambia, before thrashing Egypt 7-3 on aggregate in the final qualifying round.

10.26pmThey qualified in style as well, scoring more goals than any other African nation on the way to the finals. Including the seven they notched over two legs against Egypt, Ghana netted 25 times in all, while also boasting the joint-best defensive record in the group stages. Unsurprisingly, therefore, they ended the qualifying campaign with the best goal difference of all the African sides.

10.28pmThe defensive solidity is still part of the team, having kept seven clean sheets in their last 10 outings, but the goals had dried up until their 4-0 drubbing of South Korea in their last warm-up match. They went through a run of four games without a goal, including the semi-finals and final of the Africa Nations Cup. Having got to the final on penalties, they eventually lost - again via a shootout - following a 0-0 draw with Libya.

10.30pmThe victory over Korea was, in fact, the only time that they have scored more than one goal in a game since October, when they hammered Egypt 6-1 in the first leg of their qualifying tie - a run of 10 matches. With the likes of Germany and Ronaldo still to come in this group, they may not be expecting to keep many clean sheets, so it is fortunate that they found their scoring boots just before the tournament began.

10.32pmThe Ghanaians have a very interesting mix of youth and experience in their squad, although in this case experience doesn't mean old players. Essien is the only member of their squad above the age of 29, yet seven players remain from the team that impressed at the 2010 World Cup. The likes of Gyan, Muntari and Mensah are no strangers to this level, yet they still have the youngest squad at this year's tournament. That is the second World Cup in a row that they have arrived with the youngest squad and, if last time is anything to go by, it is a good ploy to go with.

10.34pmThey come into this match as the underdogs, not only to progress from the group but for tonight's game itself. Despite being considered as arguably the best African side in the World Cup this year, they are still ranked just 37th in the world, 24 places below the Americans.

10.36pmIndeed, USA are ranked way up in 13th place in the world, above the likes of Chile, Netherlands, France and Croatia. They come into this year's tournament with a lot of expectation, so much so that Jurgen Klinsmann faced a backlash from his own fans for suggesting that it is not realistic for his side to win the World Cup. Such optimism may be misplaced, particularly considering how hard their group is, but a good performance today would bring the unlikely dream one step closer.

10.38pmThey are more or less undisputed kings of the CONCACAF region at the moment, having topped their qualifying section four points clear of Costa Rica. Their usual closest rivals Mexico only just crept in via the playoffs, and they needed two American goals in stoppage time of the final qualifier against Panama to help them there. Panama were also America's opponents in the Gold Cup final last year, with Klinsmann's side running out 1-0 winners.

10.40pmLike Ghana, America topped the scoring charts in their qualifying section, although the tally of 15 goals in 10 matches isn't exactly mind-blowingly good. It was, in general, a low-scoring CONCACAF qualifying round, with Altidore ending the campaign as top scorer alongside Honduras pair Jerry Bengtson and Carlos Costly, all of whom were on four goals. Next highest for America was Dempsey with three.

10.42pmThey come into this tournament in good form having won all three of their warm-up matches relatively comfortably. Nigeria were the only World Cup nation they played in that time, however, while Ghana should pose the toughest test for them in a while. Still, they have lost just three of their last 24 outings, a run that stretches all the way back to May of last year.

10.44pmIn the midst of that run they set a national record for winning 12 matches in a row - a spell of form kicked off by an impressive 4-3 victory over Germany. With the Germans lying in wait for Klinsmann's return later in the group stages, USA should take a lot of heart from that result, even if it was some time ago now. It proves that they are capable of beating the biggest and the best - which is something that they will need to do if they are to progress beyond the group stages in Brazil.

10.46pmTheir best-ever showing at a World Cup came way back in the inaugural tournament in 1930, when they finished in third place. Since then, they have only reached the quarter-finals once, and you'd think that a win tonight is vital if they want to double that tally. One way of maximising your chances of a victory is to keep a clean sheet at your own end, but that is not something USA have found easy in this tournament. They have only prevented the opposition from scoring twice in their last 23 World Cup outings - not a great stat against a strong Ghanaian attack.

10.48pmOf course, two of those matches having come in losing efforts against Ghana but, while USA as a nation haven't had much luck against tonight's opponents, Klinsmann himself does have fond memories of playing the Africans. He scored twice against them in a 6-1 victory over Ghana for Germany back in this playing days, which also saw him net an impressive 11 goals in 17 World Cup matches. This is his second World Cup as a manager having led the Germans on home soil in 2006.

10.50pmPREDICTION: Right, we're 10 minutes from kickoff is Natal, so it is time for a prediction! Ghana usually provide entertainment in their play, but recent signs suggest that they have tightened up at the back and may not be so gung-ho this time around. Still, I am expecting an open encounter this evening as both sides know that a win is almost essential to their chances of going through considering the strength of the other two teams in the group. Both sides are evenly matched and any result is feasible, but I'm going to go for another 2-1 victory for Ghana.

10.52pmThose two previous World Cup meetings are the only two times these two sides have faced each other, giving Ghana a nice 100% record against the Americans. While tonight's match is quite as decisive as the previous two meetings have been, Klinsmann has admitted that it is effectively a knockout game due to the presence of Germany and Portugal in the group.

10.54pmOne of the big talking points from the American side of the spectrum will be how the team get on without Donovan in their ranks. For so long the poster boy of US 'soccer', it was a huge decision for Klinsmann to leave him out. His experience could have been crucial, particularly considering he has been there and done it on the biggest stage. He has five World Cup goals to his name, while the 23 players named in the squad have a grand total of three between them.

10.56pmThere has been concern over the weather in Natal, where it has been raining almost non-stop for days. Mexico and Cameroon played in the downpour on Friday but still managed an entertaining - if controversial - encounter. Things have got even worse since then, however, with flood warnings being sent out around the area. It remains to be seen whether that will have an impact on tonight's match, but it isn't quite ideal for football.

10.58pmThe US President Barack Obama has had his say on tonight's match, wishing the Americans well in their pursuit of both revenge and a winning start.



11pmRight, the pre-match niceties are over and done with, and we're just about ready to start here. Can Ghana or USA move level on points with Germany at the top of Group G?

1 minKICKOFF: Here we go then, Ghana get us underway in Natal.

1 minGOAL! Ghana 0-1 United States (Clint Dempsey)

1 minIncredible scenes! The United States take the lead with just 31 seconds on the clock, and it is their talisman Clint Dempsey who has the goal! He picked the ball up on the left channel and slipped the ball through the legs of Boye, beating the defender all too easily. His finish is then spot on as he drills a low strike in off the far post and in. What a start!

3 minGhana just need to settle into this match now, They could not have wished for a worse start than that and, with such a young side out there, it will be interesting to see how they respond to going behind. Their main priority must be not conceding again here as USA have their tails up.

5 minWell, we saw more action in the opening 31 seconds of this match than we did in the whole of the Nigeria vs. Iran match earlier today. That became our first draw and first goalless game of the World Cup so far, but order seems to have been restored nice and quickly!

7 minGhana have settled into this match a little, but USA are still looking the more dangerous. Altidore rises well in the middle as he tries to get on the end of a cross from the right flank, but it is just too high for him.

8 minGood goalkeeping from Howard as he comes out to claim a dangerous Gyan delivery with Jordan Ayew steaming into the middle to get on the end of it. Very assured play from the Everton man.

10 minGhana come forward with menace for the first time tonight as Atsu cuts inside from the right, beating Beasley comfortably. However, his pass into the box goes astray and USA are able to clear the danger.

12 minAtsu makes another dart down the right only to be correctly flagged offside, but it is another sign of Ghana just getting themselves into the match now. It was a dreadful start for the Black Stars and it took them a while to recover from it, but they seem to have steadied themselves now.

14 minThere is plenty of American support inside the stadium, and that is no real surprise. Despite not being the country's main support, it has been reported that American fans bought more tickets to matches than any other nation at this World Cup, apart from hosts Brazil. They can expect good support wherever they go.

15 minGood goalkeeping again from Howard as he races off his line to make a sliding challenge on Gyan, just about beating the Ghana striker to the ball. Had he mistimed that then it could have been a penalty and a red card, but there is no question that he got the ball there.

17 minHoward is called upon yet again to come and punch a botched clearance as Ghana flooded forward in numbers. This is a lot better from the Africans now, who are on top after that nightmare start.

18 minVery harsh decision from the officials as Jordan Ayew shows good strength to hold off the challenge on Besler, only to be penalised for it. Ayew would have been in a very promising position had play been allowed to continue.

19 minCHANCE! Big chance for USA to double their lead at the other end. A low ball from the right finds its way all the way through to Altidore, who took a touch before firing a low shot towards goal. However, he just took too long over doing it, allowing two Ghanaian defenders to throw themselves in the way of his effort and make the block.

21 minOh really bad news for USA and Altidore. Bradley released the Sunderland man with a long ball over the top and he was racing down the line, only to pull up holding his hamstring. Depending on the severity of that injury - and it looks to be fairly bad - he could well be out for the rest of the World Cup. Devastating for the player.

23 minUSA SUB: It is indeed game over for Altidore, who is stretchered off in obvious pain. Aron Johannsson comes on in his place, and there is a lot of excitement about the oncoming youngster.

25 minPoor header from Boye as Muntari picks him out at the back post with a corner. It is by no means an easy task to get it on target from there, but Boye's header lacks conviction as he nods it down into the ground and well wide.

26 minNice play from Bradley and Dempsey to find Bedoya in midfield, who carries the ball just about into shooting range before letting fly. However, he slices his effort horribly off target, wasting a good position for his side in the process.

27 minMost of Ghana's joy is coming down the right so far tonight, and Opare puts in another delivery from that flank, Besler is there to meet it, but it just skims off the turf and the American defender slices it dangerously over his own crossbar. The resulting corner, however, is cleared by the first man.

29 minSHOT! Ghana come close to the equaliser as Asamoah cuts inside from the left flank before squeezing the ball to Atsu while being fouled. Atsu plays the advantage with a curling effort, but it ends up a couple of yards wide of the post.

30 minYELLOW CARD! Rabiu goes into the referee's notebook for an aerial challenge on Beckerman, but it is a harsh one. It seemed to be a fair battle in the air between those two, with the American coming off worse.

32 minSAVE! Gyan hasn't really been involved so far tonight, but he bursts into life here. He is allowed room to shoot from range and drills an effort towards the bottom corner, but Howard gets down well to make the stop. It was a routine enough stop, but it was still a decent strike from the Ghanaian.

34 minPainful one for Dempsey as he receives an almighty knock on the nose from the boot of Boye. It was completely unintentional from the Ghanaian, but that is a very hard knock he received. His nose could well be broken there, but he still looks keen to continue. It'd be a huge blow to lose both him and Altidore to injury in the first half.

36 minDempsey does indeed trot back onto the field after a moment of treatment on the sidelines. Good to see that as it really was a heavy blow he took to the nose. He'll feel that one in the morning for sure.

38 minGhana have enjoyed 60% of possession so far, which is probably a fair reflection of how this match has gone since the fifth minute. USA made a perfect start, but since Ghana have settled they have been on top without really threatening the Americans in the final third.

39 minAgain Ghana attack down the right flank as Atsu cuts inside onto his left before swinging a ball into the box. Gyan makes the run to get onto the end of the delivery, but it is a tough one to turn goalwards and he nods an effort well over the bar.

41 minJohannsson has his first chance to run at the Ghanaian defence, but on this occasion the Africans come out on top. It was a good challenge from Mensah, who went to ground at the opportune moment to dispossess the sub. Meanwhile, Besler appears to have picked up a slight knock.

43 minUSA pour forward on the break after Bedoya beat Asamoah to the ball to find space on the right. There are plenty of teammates in support of him, but the cross into the box doesn't quite create a goalscoring chance, and Ghana just about get enough men back to clear the danger before USA can carve out a shooting opportunity.

45 minThe United States have a free kick in a good crossing position, which Bedoya whips in just under the crossbar. It is fairly straightforward for the Ghanaian keeper, but he chooses to punch it behind for a corner, which comes to nothing.

45+2 minThere will be a minimum of five minutes added time at the end of this first half.

45+3 minControversial incident as Muntaro goes flying into a tackle on Jones, whose boots catch the Ghana player on the head in an untidy tangle afterwards. For a moment it looks like Muntari has reacted angrily on the floor, but he just about stopped himself in time. The referee calms things down with a talking to for both players, who shake hands and make up.

45+5 minCHANCE! Big chance for Ghana at the end of the half as Atsu finds space down the right flank once more. He cuts inside after a bad first touch before playing it square to Jordan Ayew, who fluffed his effort horribly when he should have done better.

45+5 minHALF TIME: Ghana 0-1 United States

11.56pmThe referee brings an end to the first half, and it was one that began quicker than any other match so far at this World Cup. The opening goal came after just 31 seconds - the fifth-fastest strike in World Cup history - but so far the scorers haven't been troubled further. It has been a fairly open encounter, but it hasn't quite lived up to what the opening exchanges suggested so far.

11.58pmIt was, predictably, Clint Dempsey who got the goal with an accomplished finish having darted into the box past some shoddy defending from Boye. It provided a perfect start to the match for States, who could not have dreamed of getting their World Cup campaign underway better than that. Dempsey fired his effort in off the post, leaving the keeper little chance.

12amBesides the goal, both sides have had a good chance apiece, with Ghana's coming right at the end of the first half. Atsu was released down the right flank before playing the ball square for Jordan Ayew, who got nowhere near enough on his shot to trouble the keeper from the edge of the penalty area.

12.02amAmerica's clearest chance other than the goal came through Jozy Altidore, who collected a low cross that was slightly behind him before seeing his eventual shot blocked by two defenders. It was brave play from the Ghanaians, but Altidore took too long to get his shot away and should have done better from a very promising position.

12.04amThings went from bad to worse for Altidore later in the half as he pulled up with a hamstring injury that looks to have ended his World Cup campaign very early. It was a devastating blow for the striker, who came into this tournament with a lot to prove after a disappointing season in the Premier League. Dempsey also had an injury scare following a heavy blow to his nose, but the goalscorer was able to continue.

12.06amOverall Ghana have been fairly disappointing so far tonight. They have relied on attacks down the right flank, but Atsu's final ball has been poor despite him getting into a number of good positions. Even so, Atsu has been the dangerman for the Black Stars so far.

46 minKICKOFF: USA get us back underway at the second half, and they have made a change at the break. John Brooks comes on for Besler, who seemed to pick up a slight hamstring strain towards the end of the first period. They will be hoping that that is nothing serious.

48 minIt surely won't be too long before we see Boateng or Essien for Ghana in this match. They need an extra but of quality here as there is a distinct lack of it in the final third at the moment. Gyan is struggling to have his usual impact.

50 minApare shows lightning pace down the right flank to latch on to a through-ball, but his is quickly snuffed out by the American defence. Apare has got into a couple of advanced positions tonight but is yet to come up with the good when well placed.

51 minBrooks almost gifts Gyan a chance with a miscued clearance that allows the Ghana striker to race into the box. However, the sub recovers well and eventually gets his body between Gyan and the ball, drawing the foul.

53 minSame old story for Ghana. They have seen a lot of the ball in this second half so far, and as usual it finds its way to Atsu. Once again he gets away from his marker, but his end product is poor as he blazes a shot high and wide of the target.

55 minUSA really haven't got into their stride yet in this second half. They are putting less emphasis on attacking at the moment, with Ghana spending the majority of the half in their opponent's half. Still no cutting edge from the Africans, however.

55 minSHOT! One of Ghana's best moments of the match as Muntari is afforded space to shoot from 25 yards - an invitation he gleefully accepts. His strike is a good one, but his effort swings wide at the last moment. It wasn't too far away.

56 minCHANCE! Big chance for Ghana to level things up! A superb cross from the left finds Gyan in space inside the box, but he powers his header over the top! Gyan hung in the air for some time there, and he really should have done better with his effort.

58 minSAVE! Ghana come close again, and this time it takes a fine save from Howard to deny them the equaliser. This time Gyan's header is a superb one, somehow getting the power and accuracy to steer it towards the corner from the edge of the box, but Howard gets across just in time to push it past the post.

59 minGHANA SUB: The Ghanaians finally turn to the bench and Kevin-Prince Boateng, who replaces Jordan Ayew.

61 minThe tempo of this match has increased in the last five minutes or so as Ghana look more and more likely of finally applying that end product. It has been the Africans' half so far, with USA on the ropes and struggled to hold onto the ball for any meaningful length of time. We're all set for a very good final 30 minutes.

62 minSHOT! Atsu is the man to threaten for Ghana again, but once more his end product is just off. This time he tries to curl an effort into the top corner from 25 yards, but the ball flies over the bar. Howard didn't seem concerned, but it wasn't too far away.

63 minSHOT! An increasingly rare moment for USA as Jones shows good strength to work space to shoot from range. His strike is a powerful one, but it is straight at the keeper, who beats it away.

64 minCHANCE! Chance for Ghana at the other end now as Boateng picks the ball up on the right before playing it to Gyan in the box. The former Sunderland man has space as he controls the ball, but Cameron is out quickly to him to make a vital block.

65 minSAVE! This time it is down to Howard to deny Ghana, but it is a relatively simple one for the keeper. Asamoah hasn't provided much of an attacking threat down that left flank, but he finds space to shoot from range here before drilling a dipping drive towards goal that Howard collects.

67 minGhana have been on top for virtually the whole of the second half so far, but still they are lacking in the final third. They have just over 20 minutes to change that and potentially keep their World Cup hopes alive.

69 minBoateng has made a difference since coming on, but this is a real waste. The ball sits up kindly for him at least 35 yards from goal so he tries a volley that ends up a long. long way over the top. Dreadful effort.

71 minGHANA SUB: It is time for Michael Essien as he comes on for Rabiu in a straight swap in midfield. He is one of his country's greatest ever players, and they could really do with him making a contribution here.

73 minUSA have been almost anonymous in an attacking sense in this second half as they hold on to the lead that came after just 31 seconds of play in this match. It has been all Ghana, and you just wonder whether the States' increasingly defensive tactics might come back to bite them.

75 minOne thing that must be said about Ghana's play today is the poor quality of their set pieces. Sulley Muntari has been the main offender with a number of deliveries into the box that have failed to beat the first man.

76 minCHANCE! For once there is a good ball into the box as Asamoah bursts past a tiring Bedoya before whipping a dangerous and powerful cross. It is just too high for Gyan, while Ayew can't react in time behind him to turn it goalwards.

77 minUSA SUB: Bedoya has picked up a few knocks throughout the game, and he is taken off as a result. On comes Graham Zusi in his place.

78 minGHANA SUB: Ghana respond with their third and final change as the lively Atsu makes way to be replaced by Albert Adomah.

79 minSHOT! A rare foray forward from USA as Beckerman drives down the right before sliding the ball through to Johnson. He then beats a man to get into a very good position in the box, only to cut back and run away from goal. He then gives it to Dempsey, whose curling effort is plucked out of the air by the keeper.

81 minLess than 10 minutes remaining here for Ghana to get back on level terms. Both sides are beginning to tire now in what are tougher conditions than England faced in Manaus on Saturday night. Could the growing fatigue still play a part in this game?

82 minGOAL! Ghana 1-1 United States (Andre Ayew)

82 minOh what a well-worked goal that is! Ghana equalise in style as the ball is slid in to Gyan, who produces a sublime back-heel to play in Ayew. There is still a lot to do, but Ayew finishes with aplomb, firing past Howard at his near post. Really good goal, and no more than Ghana deserve.

84 minGhana are pushing on for the win now, and the momentum is all with them. The USA defence is getting noticeably tired in these closing stages, and for the first real time tonight we are seeing the sort of dynamic attacking that epitomised Ghana four years ago.

86 minGOAL! Ghana 1-2 United States (John Brooks)

86 minWould you believe it?! USA are back ahead! They win a late corner that is swung into the biggest man on the field Brooks, who escapes his marker before nodding the ball past the keeper. That was some poor defending from the Africans, who had worked so hard to get back on level terms.

88 minIs there one more twist in the tale here? It would be extraordinary if Ghana were to equalise again here but, the way this World Cup has gone so far, you wouldn't bet against it! This match was a slow burner, but it has really come alive here.

89 minEssien leaps well to get his head on a corner, but Brooks is doing his job at the other end now as he blocks the effort well. The ball rebounds before being hooked well wide, giving the United States a chance to clear their lines.

90+1 minThere is still plenty of time for things to change again here! The fourth official indicates a minimum of FIVE minutes added time!

90+2 minYELLOW CARD! Muntari goes into the book late on for a crunching challenge on Dempsey. He can have no complaints about that one.

90+3 minSHOT! Muntari hasn't had the best night tonight, and this sums it up. The ball comes down to him on the edge of the box and, after taking a touch, he fires a volley well over the bar, relieving the growing pressure on the American goal. Could that be their last chance?

90+5 minFULL TIME: Ghana 1-2 United States

12.58amScenes of jubilation greet the final whistle as the USA hold out for a dramatic victory over the Ghanaians, beating them by the same scoreline that the Africans won by in their previous meetings at the last two World Cups. Brooks grabbed the winner late on after Ayew had cancelled out Dempsey early opener.

1amRight, that is all we have time for today! Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for another cracking game in this incredible World Cup as USA edge to a 2-1 victory with a late winner. I will leave you with our match report, and be sure to stick around for reaction, analysis and player ratings. The action keeps coming tomorrow, and we will have all the games covered for you live as always. Until then, it is goodbye from me!

Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring the opening goal against Sweden during their World Cup play-off match on November 19, 2013
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