Jozy Altidore leaves Americans' World Cup opener against Ghana after straining hamstring

The Associated Press

United States' Jozy Altidore grimaces after pulling up injured during the group G World Cup soccer match between Ghana and the United States at the Arena das Dunas in Natal, Brazil, Monday, June 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)

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By RONALD BLUM, AP Sports Writer

NATAL, Brazil (AP) — Jozy Altidore has left the Americans' World Cup opener against Ghana after straining his left hamstring in the 21st minute.

The 24-year-old forward was running down a ball with Ghana's John Boye on Monday night when he lowered his head to attempt to control it, grabbed the back of his left leg and fell to the ground.

Wincing in pain, Altidore was taken off on a stretcher and replaced two minutes later by Aron Johannsson.

The Americans' other starting forward, Clint Dempsey, also left the game briefly after being kicked in the nose later in the first half, but he returned.

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