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USA vs. Ghana: Clint Dempsey scores, breaks nose, America wins!

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Clint Dempsey scored the fastest goal in United States World Cup history, breaks his nose, stays in and helps guide the Americans to a win.

Michael Steele

The United States pulled off one of the most dramatic victories in its soccer history and, yes, Clint Dempsey was right in the middle of it. The Seattle Sounders forward scored the 5th fastest goal in World Cup history -- and the fastest in American history -- then suffered a broken nose, but managed to stay in the match and helped keep the U.S. competitive enough to allow John Anthony Brooks to score a dramatic winner. The final scoreline will read 2-1 USA, but that hardly does it justice.

Dempsey had the United States rolling early, looking every bit like the player we've grown accustomed to while scoring this goal 34 seconds into the match:

But the mood of the match took a dramatic change over the next 15 or so minutes. First Jozy Altidore pulled up lame with a hamstring strain and had to be carted off. Then, Dempsey absorbed this blow:

Nosed_medium

Dempsey's nose was clearly broken, but after receiving some treatment and a bunch of cotton stuffed up his nose he managed to stay in the game. Dempsey was clearly not the same player afterward, though, and neither was the United States.

With players cramping left and right and energy being sapped by the humid and hot conditions, the U.S. was left to mostly bunker and pray for chances. That eventually bit them when Andre Ayew got the equalizer in the 83rd minute, which seemed to be the end of the United States' dreams of grabbing three points.

But then the United States' set-piece magic did its thing. Brooks headed in a great corner kick from Graham Zusi and the world went crazy.

Enjoy it guys, we have another game on Sunday.