Clint Dempsey fired off a goal at the minute mark, but the U.S. Men’s National Team’s victory against Ghana would come from a reserve. Specifically, a header from John Brooks, Jr., a German-born player who spends his professional life playing defender for Hertha BSC in the Bundesliga when the Cup isn’t happening, at the 86-minute mark. Brooks, who had checked in as an injury replacement, had reportedly told his teammates that he would score in the 80th minute of the match and that they would wind up prevailing. No one is going to chide his dream’s six minutes of inaccuracy. Not when it means a win over Ghana.
Ghana, the English-speaking West African country, has turned into the United States’ personal nemesis over the last eight years, as they’ve successfully handed the USMNT an early trip back home in the last two World Cups, 2006 and 2010. For whatever reason, Ghana has had our number, and as soon as the group was drawn, they drew some serious attention from pundits and fans — in a group that included the objectively better Germany and Portugal.
You can watch the goal here, courtesy of ESPN. In the meantime, we’ve been trawling the Web for the best reactions to Brooks’s goal, and we’ve got four excellent reactions ahead for your viewing and reading pleasure.