KENYA BROWN - Sunday, July 2, 2017
Goals from Dom Dwyer and Kellyn Acosta mixed in with a penalty save by Brad Guzan helped the United States to a win over Ghana on Saturday at the Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee.
With CONCACAF Gold Cup getting underway on July 8, the US were looking to end their training camp on a positive note as they took on the Black Stars, who they have met at some stage in the past three World Cups.
It was series of first for the US on the day as Dwyer and Kenny Saief made their debuts for the team - the former acquiring his US citizenship while the latter received approval from FIFA to make the switch from playing for Israel - along with Kelyn Rowe. Center back Matt Hedges made his first start for the team as he earned his third cap.
Dwyer, who dreamed of playing for England in the past, could not have asked for a better dream debut for his adopted country as he opened the scoring for the US in the 19th minute. Pressure from the US in Ghana's end saw Jorge Villafana steal the ball and press towards the area. He laid off a pass to Joe Corona, who took a shot at goal. However, the ball would deflect off Villafana and into the path of Dwyer who slammed his volleyed shot past goalkeeper Richard Ofori to send the home supporters into a loud roar.
The US nearly lost their lead just before halftime when referee Ismael Cornejo judged that Villafana had brought down Frank Acheampong in the area. Ghanaian captain Asamoah Gyan stepped up to take the penalty, but Guzan would guess right and parried the ball around the post.
Acosta double the United States' lead in the 52nd minute when curled a low free kick around the six-man Ghanaian wall, leaving Ofori no chance to make a save.
Games between the US and Ghana have always been close and Gyan made sure to keep things interesting until the end when he scored a free kick of his own in the 60th minute. The much-traveled forward struck his effort from 30 yards out that Guzan could not parry away from goal this time.
Ghana could not find the equalizer as the US went on to earn the win.
The US will continue their preparations for Saturday as they open the CONCACAF Gold Cup with their first group game against Panama at the Nissan Stadium.