The 21-year-old came on at half-time as a substitute for the injured Matt Besler before making his mark on the tournament with a header four minutes from time to settle his nation's Group G opener in Salvador.
His goal stunned Ghana, who had only just pulled level at 1-1 two minutes previously and were, if anything, looking the more likely of the two sides to go on and claim all three points.
But the turn of events should not have come as any surprise to Brooks, the Berlin-born player who holds both German and American passports, for he had envisioned he would score the winner in a prophetic dream two nights earlier.
“Yeah, it’s unbelievable,” said Brooks after the game. “I said I had a dream, I told some team-mates that I dreamed that I had scored in the 80th minute and we won the game. Now it [turned out to be] the 86th minute and we won the game, so that was good.”
Brooks got his big chance when Besler pulled up in the first half with a tight hamstring and was forced off at the break. But the Schalke player seized his opportunity, impressing at the back and making his crucial contribution at the other end of the pitch, which turned out to be his own field of dreams.
- Sports & Recreation
- Matt Besler