Jacksonville fans celebrate US 2-1 World Cup win over Ghana

NATAL, Brazil (AP) -- Clint Dempsey scored one of fastest goals in World Cup history and John Brooks scored the game winner on a header in the 86th minute of a 2-1 U.S. victory over Ghana, which had knocked the Americans out of the previous two World Cups.

Dempsey's goal came on a low shot just 32 seconds into the match. The lead held until Ghana's Andre Ayew leveled in the 82nd minute. Ayew's goal appeared to have stolen the victory from the U.S., until Brooks' goal off a corner from Graham Zusi.

Dempsey' 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. The US is now tied with Germany atop of Group G.

At the Jacksonville Landing fans crowded the courtyard to watch the World Cup as U.S.A. took on Ghana. Soccer is no doubt growing in popularity in Jacksonville. More than 52,000 people filed into Everbank Field on June 7 to watch the US men's national team beat Nigeria 2-1. And again Monday night a large crowd of people rallied behind team USA.

USA fans all across the River City couldn't contain themselves as the American squad kicked that final goal beating its nemesis Ghana.

"They've knocked us out the past couple of years but I'm thinking we can get a little bit of redemption," said Nick Breines.

We caught up with Breines at the Landing before the game. He was confident that for the U.S. the third time would be the charm. The Black Stars have knocked the U.S. out of competition the last two go-rounds, in 2006 and 2010.

"I'm really excited," said soccer fan, Tyler Haynes. "I've been waiting for four years."

Haynes is among the fans who chose to make a bold fashion statement wearing a decorative headband with an American flag inspired bow on top.

"I definitely think it's a growing sport and gaining popularity especially here in Jacksonville," said Ben Whitley.

The scene on June 7 at Everbank Field is a familiar one. Jacksonville hosted the send-off match for team USA heading into the World Cup. The momentum continued to build and came to a head Monday night.

"I got really nervous when we tied it up," yelled an excited fan. "I wasn't sure we could come back but I had faith in my boys and we're number one!"

Monday's watch party was hosted by Jacksonville Armada football club. They'll host another watch party on Sunday June 22nd when USA plays against Portugal.

It will be held from noon to 8 p.m. at Nippers Beach Grill.


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