June 15, 2014 (CHICAGO) --Jurgen Klinsmann wasted no time in getting the first goal of the match 32 seconds in. Clint Dempsey threaded his way through the Ghanaian defense and put his left foot to the ball, bouncing it off the right post. It's the fifth fastest goal scored in World Cup history.
The bad news for the Americans is that Jozy Altidore suffered a strained left hamstring in the 21st minute, and he looks doubtful for Sunday's match against Portugal. And Texas-tough Dempsey got a bloody nose but soldiered on.
The second half stayed that way until the 82nd minute when midfielder Andre Ayew put the ball behind Tim Howard and all of a sudden the match was tied 1-1. Four minutes later, defender John Brooks, in for the injured Altidore, beat Adam Kwarasey. The United States held on for a 2-1 win. Next up for the Americans is a date with the Portuguese on Sunday at 5 CST.
The United States team surrounds John Brooks after he scored his side's second goal to defeat Ghana 2-1 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)
In the first match of the day, the 12th of the tournament, Germany was good. VERY, VERY GOOD.
Portugal proved that one of the greatest players of all time, Christiano Ronaldo, could not lead a band of second division players. With German President Angela Merkle in the VIP box, Thomas Mueller scored on a penalty kick in the 12th minute because of a dumb holding penalty on Portugal. Mats Hummels put it out of reach in the 32nd minute on a header. And in extra time, the 46th minute, it was Mueller again taking advantage of the Portuguese being down a man and he scored his seventh career World Cup goal.
What hurt Portugal is the idiotic head butt by Pepe on Mueller after he taunted him in the 36th minute. He got a red card for that and he is out for the match against team USA next Sunday. Mueller got the first hat trick of the World Cup in the 78th minute and Germany whipped Portugal 4-0. Portugal might be without three other players who were injured, so it's looking good for America to advance to the round of 16.
In the middle match of the day, 43rd ranked Iran faced 44th rated Nigeria and this one was BORING. A 0-0 draw.
Tuesday will witness 11th-ranked Belguim facing 22nd Algeria at 11a.m. I like the Belgians in this one. At 2 p.m. third-ranked Brazil looks for their second win of the tournament when they face 20th ranked Mexico, also looking for their second win. I'm going with Brazil to win.
In the nightcap at 5 p.m., 19th ranked Russia faces 57th rated Korean Republic. I'll go with the Russians. So far, my record of predictions is 11-3.
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Since joining ABC7 in 1982, Jim Rose has become a major force in Chicago sports broadcasting. He currently serves as sports anchor/reporter for ABC7 News in Chicago's top-rated 4:00 and 6:00 p.m. newscasts. He is an avid fan of the World Cup! Learn more about Jim