USMNT defeat Ghana 2-1 ahead of Gold Cup action

Dom Dwyer scores first international goal in his debut.

USMNT defeat Ghana 2-1 ahead of Gold Cup action
Dom Dwyer scores first international goal. | Photo: Sports Illustrated
USMNT
2 1
Ghana
USMNT: Guzan; Villafaña, Besler, Hedges, Zusi; Rowe, McCarty, Acosta, Corona, Arriola; Dwyer
Ghana: R. Ofori, Sumaila, Lumor, Akaminko, Boye, Abu, Acheampong, E. Ofori, Gyan, Dwamena, Accam
SCORE: 1-0, min. 19, Dwyer, 2-0, min. 52, Acosta, 2-1, min. 60, Gyan

While it was only a friendly, the US Men’s National Team got the better of Ghana in their final tuneup before the CONCACAF Gold Cup. Dom Dwyer and Kellyn Acosta scored both goals in the 2-1 win in East Hartford, Connecticut.

Dywer makes his presence known

The USMNT got their first real opportunity in the 14th minute of action after controlling most of the early possession. Dwyer, getting his first start, got in behind the Ghanaian defense. His shot, though, was weak and Richard Ofori made the easy save.

Three minutes later, the Sporting Kansas City man found himself inside the box again. Kellyn Rowe played a first-time pass on the volley, but Dwyer had two defenders and could not get a shot away.

Dom Dwyer’s persistence paid off in the 19th minute. A deflection off of Jorge Villafana found Dwyer alone in acres of space. Dwyer made no mistake with the finish, thumping the ball into the back of the net.

Following the goal, Dwyer nearly made matters worse for the visiting site. He broke behind the defense again, as Ofori came storming off his line. The Ghana goalkeeper caught Dwyer late, outside the box, and only received a yellow card for his challenge.

In the dying minutes of the opening half, Villafana pulled down Frank Acheampong inside the box. While it looked like a soft penalty, the referee pointed to the spot immediately. Up stepped Asamoah Gyan. The veteran forward had his spot kick saved by Brad Guzan, who is one of the best in the sport at stopping penalty kicks.

Sensational free kick goals

It did not take long for the US to take a 2-0 lead in the second half. Acosta stood over a free kick seven minutes after the restart and curled his effort low, around the wall, and into the bottom right hand corner of the net.

Kellyn Acosta made it 2-0 for the USMNT in the second half. | Photo: US Soccer
Kellyn Acosta made it 2-0 for the USMNT in the second half. | Photo: US Soccer

On the hour mark, Ghana finally got on the board. Making amends for his penalty miss, Gyan scored a sensation free kick of his own to cut the lead to one.

With changes made in the second half, the play became somewhat sloppy. But with four minutes remaining, the USA nearly scored their third goal of the afternoon. Jordan Morris floated a great cross to the far post with the outside of his right foot. Waiting there was Alejandro Bedoya, who was only kept out by a fantastic stop from Ofori.

Coming up

The USA will now look to competitive action this coming week, as their CONCACAF Gold Cup play begins next Saturday. There, they will take on Panama with kickoff scheduled for 4:30 PM EST.

Soccer