World Cup highlights and match report: Ghana 1-2 USA
Substitute John Brooks' late header helped the United States exact World Cup revenge on Ghana in an entertaining Group G match.
The African side were looking to complete a hat-trick of World Cup wins over the Stars and Stripes, having beaten them 2-1 in both Germany and South Africa.
It had looked set to end in a draw after Clint Dempsey's early strike was cancelled out by Andre Ayew, only for half-time replacement Brooks to head home in the 86th minute to secure Jurgen Kilnsmann's side a 2-1 win in Natal.
Johnson and Jones just brilliant. Two of the most committed performances you'll see this World Cup. #USA
A month's worth of rain had fallen in the city in the days leading up to the Group G encounter but the match went ahead at Estadio das Dunas, which witnessed the opening goal after just 29 seconds as Seattle Sounders midfielder Dempsey showed neat footwork before slotting home.
Jozy Altidore left the field on a stretcher with a hamstring strain after wasting a great chance to double the USA's advantage, before they then lost Matt Besler to a hamstring complaint.
Those changes looked to disrupt the Stars and Stripes, whose goal was peppered throughout a one-sided second half and it was no surprise when Asamoah Gyan and Andre Ayew linked-up for a classy leveller in the 82nd minute.
However, four minutes later Besler's replacement Brooks was left unmarked and the defender duly headed home a Graham Zusi cross to secure victory.
Jordan Ayew spurned a great chance to level with a scuffed shot in first-half stoppage time and, when the teams emerged for the second half, Brooks replaced Besler after the defender complained of tightness in his hamstring.
It was another injury blow to a USA side now under the cosh, with Atsu wasting a fine chance before Sulley Muntari sent a fizzing strike just wide from outside the box.
Gyan powered a close-range header over as they continued to up the ante, with the former Sunderland striker soon forcing Howard into action with another header on goal, this time from 18 yards.
Atsu, Gyan, Kevin Prince-Boateng and Kwadwo Asamoah all had efforts as Akwasi Appiah's side continued their search for a leveller, which came eight minutes from time.