One shining moment can define a player’s season, career, and even life. For backup centerback John Brooks, a late goal lifted a nation and cemented his place as a world cup hero.

The U.S. Men’s National team defeated Ghana in a 2-1 thriller Monday night. The team faces a battered Portugal side Sunday with a chance to clinch a place in the last 16, as well as top spot in the Group of Death.

The match began with a dream start for the Americans. Captain Clint Dempsey cut inside from the left of the box, making a Ghanaian defender look silly with a quick touch on his outside boot. Dempsey then rolled a finish off the far post and in, giving the Americans a 1-0 lead.

As the game progressed, the U.S. continued to find space in the attacking third. However, striker Jozy Altidore left the game with a strained hamstring. Aaron Johansson took his place, but was unable to make an impact throughout the remaining 62 minutes.

Ghana began to get more possession in the second half, and found an equalizer from the boot of Andre Ayeu in the 80th minute. A resilient American bunch fought back and scored of of Graham Zusi’s corner, converted by Mr. Brooks.

Altidore will not play Sunday, so it appears as though Aaron Johansson will have to carry the load up front. Jurgen Klinsmann may opt to replace Altidore with Dempsey, and put the aforementioned Iceman in Dempsey’s place.

In a cup full of surprises, a potential scalp of Portugal is not out of the question. With this group, anything can happen. Stay tuned.

Photo: USA Today

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