After 90 brutal minutes of end-to-end action, the United States emerged with a thrilling 2-1 win over Ghana and coach Jurgen Klinsmann praised his team's fighting spirit.
"We fight to the last second," Klinsmann said.
"It was a grind but a wonderful win at the end of the day. There are undoubtedly things that we need to improve on. The U.S. team always has a great spirit."
U.S. fans were screaming for revenge Monday after the Black Stars eliminated the Americans from the last two Cups.
They got it. At a price.
Clint Dempsey scored a shocking goal a half-minute in, but the U.S. couldn't make it stand up. Andre Ayew tied the score in the 82nd minute after a brilliant back-heel pass from Asamoah Gyan, who had eliminated the U.S. four years ago.
And then, just four minutes later, 20-year-old John Brooks rose to head in Graham Zusi's corner kick from eight yards -- the first substitute to ever score for the United States in 30 World Cup games over 84 years.
The defender, an unexpected addition to the American roster, was so overcome he fell to the field and was unable to move even after teammates climbed off the dog pile. He had made his national team debut only last August, and Brooks hadn't scored in four appearances.
"It's what we expected," said Klinsmann. "We got the three points that we wanted and we can move on."