Dempsey, Brooks give US 2-1 win over Ghana

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Dempsey, Brooks give US 2-1 win over Ghana
US defender John Brooks (down) celebrates with teammates after scoring during a Group G football match between Ghana and US at the Dunas Arena in Natal during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 16, 2014. AFP PHOTO / JAVIER SORIANO (Photo credit should read JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images)
United States' John Brooks (6) celebrates with teammates after scoring his side's second 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, 2014. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
United States' John Brooks right, celebrates after scoring his side's second 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, 2014. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)
United States' John Brooks, second right, celebrates after scoring his side's second 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, 2014. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)
United States' John Brooks, right, celebrates after scoring his side's second 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, 2014. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)
United States' John Brooks (6) reacts with Fabian Johnson (23) after scoring his side's second 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, 2014. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
United States' John Brooks, No 6 centre, scores his side's second 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, 2014. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)
United States' John Brooks celebrates scoring his side's second 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, 2014. The United States defeated Ghana 2-1. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
United States' John Brooks reacts after scoring his side's second 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, 2014. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Ghana's Andre Ayew celebrates after scoring his sides first 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, 2014. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)
United States' John Brooks, right, heads the ball to score his side's second 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, 2014. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
Ghana's Andre Ayew celebrates after scoring his sides first 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, 2014. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)
United States' John Brooks, right, heads the ball to score his side's second 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, 2014. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
United States' John Brooks, left, scores his side's second 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, 2014. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
United States' John Brooks reacts after scoring his side's second 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, 2014. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
United States' John Brooks, second from left, scores his side's second 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, 2014. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
Ghana's Andre Ayew, centre, celebrates after scoring his sides first 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, 2014. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)
Ghana's Andre Ayew, left, scores his sides first 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, 2014. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)
Ghana's Andre Ayew (10), right, scores his side's first goal past United States' goalkeeper Tim Howard, top, 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, 2014. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
Ghana's Kevin-Prince Boateng, center. attempts to get the ball past United States' Kyle Beckerman, left, DaMarcus Beasley, No7 and United States' John Brooks 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, 2014. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)
Ghana's Daniel Opare, right, gets away from United States' Jermaine Jones 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, 2014. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)
Ghana's Andre Ayew (10) watches as his shot goes past United States' goalkeeper Tim Howard, right, to score his side's first 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, 2014. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Ghana's Andre Ayew, left, fouls United States' Fabian Johnson 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, 2014. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
Ghana's Jonathan Mensah, right, goes up over United States' Aron Johannsson to head the ball 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, 2014. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
United States' Fabian Johnson, left, and Ghana's Jonathan Mensah challenge for the ball 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, 2014. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
Ghana's Jonathan Mensah, right, pushes off United States' Fabian Johnson 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, 2014. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
NATAL, BRAZIL - JUNE 16: John Brooks of the United States celebrates scoring his team's second goal with Aron Johannsson during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group G match between Ghana and the United States at Estadio das Dunas on June 16, 2014 in Natal, Brazil. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
US defender John Brooks (down) celebrates with teammates after scoring during a Group G football match between Ghana and US at the Dunas Arena in Natal during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 16, 2014. AFP PHOTO / JAVIER SORIANO (Photo credit should read JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images)
NATAL, BRAZIL - JUNE 16: John Brooks of the United States (2nd L) celebrates scoring his team's second goal with Graham Zusi (L), Fabian Johnson (2nd R) and Aron Johannsson during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group G match between Ghana and the United States at Estadio das Dunas on June 16, 2014 in Natal, Brazil. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Ghana's midfielder Andre Ayew (R) scores during a Group G football match between Ghana and US at the Dunas Arena in Natal during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 16, 2014. AFP PHOTO / JAVIER SORIANO (Photo credit should read JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images)
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BY JIM VERTUNO
AP SPORTS WRITER

NATAL, Brazil (AP) -- Clint Dempsey scored in the first minute and rookie substitute John Brooks scored a late game winner as the U.S. defeated Ghana 2-1 Monday in the World Cup opener for both.

The victory gave the Americans a measure of revenge against the tiny West African county that knocked them out of the previous two World Cups and put the U.S. and Germany on top of the Group G, with Ghana and Portugal at the bottom.

Dempsey's goal came on a low shot just 32 seconds into the match. Ghana dominated much the rest of the game, and Andre Ayew leveled in the 82nd minute.

Just four minutes later, Brooks - a 21-year-old who came on at halftime because Matt Besler was injured - scored off a corner from Graham Zusi. It was the first time an American sub had ever scored in the World Cup.
Dempsey's goal made him the first U.S. player to score in three different World Cups and was the fastest ever scored by an American in the tournament.

Dempsey's goal showed the kind of technical flair seldom seen from a squad that typically scores through set pieces. Brooks' game winner came in the waning minutes as the Americans were desperately trying to survive waves of attacks from Ghana.

DaMarcus Beasley, who became the first American to play in four World Cups, started the buildup to Dempsey's goal with a pass to Jermaine Jones, who fed it to Dempsey inside the penalty area.

With a nifty move to split defenders John Boye and Sulley Muntari, Dempsey sent the left-footed shot past goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey, where the ball bounced off the post and in.

Already ahead after the game had barely started, the Americans looked well on their way to erasing eight years of frustration caused by Ghana.

Ghana regrouped at halftime and the U.S. looked punchless on the attack after losing striker Jozy Altidore to an apparent hamstring injury in the 21st minute. Ghana applied relentless pressure on U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard and finally drew even when captain Asamoah Gyan flicked a backheel pass to Ayew, who used the outside of his left foot for a powerful shot.

Ghana was still pressing for a winner Brooks delivered the header. He appeared shocked to have scored, raising his hands to his head before falling to the ground to be mobbed by his teammates.
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