World Cup: Jurgen Klinsmann tells USMNT "we're still in the game" before John Brooks' winner
Immediately after the US national team beat Ghana 2-1 to open Group G play on Monday, head coach Jurgen Klinsmann insisted his team didn't waver in its quest for three points, even when Ghana tied the match.
The US looked fatigued and momentum appeared to swing firmly in Ghana's corner after Andre Ayew tied the game in the 82nd minute, but defender John Brooks, who came off the bench at the half to replace an injured Matt Besler, scored the winner off a Graham Zusi corner four minutes later to give the USMNT the lead again, this time for good.
In a postgame interview on the field with ESPN, Klinsmann explained the team's resolve didn't change after allowing the equalizer.
"Well I said it to the bench a minute before, we're going to get some chance still," Klinsmann said. "We're still in the game after the equalizer. We need to push and push and grind it out.
"Here comes a set piece. We train over and over that stuff. And [Brooks] puts it in. Well deserved."
The result came even with two injuries forcing Klinsmann's hand, with Jozy Altidore also going out, in his case midway through the first half. The manager echoed the sentiments of fans when he said, "It was a little bit of a shock that Jozy got injured." Regarding Altidore's status moving forward, Klinsmann said, "We'll double-check after this whole thing."
Above all, Klinsmann credited the determination of his team on the night.
"We have a great spirit," said the coach. "The US team always has a great spirit and fights until the last second. ... It was a grind, but it's wonderful at the end of the day."