NUREMBERG, Germany (AP) _ Ghana leads the United States 2-1 at halftime in their World Cup Group E match Thursday. Haminu Draman scored Ghana's first goal in the 22nd minute but Clint Dempsey equalized in the 43rd. Just before halftime, Ghana captain Stephen Appiah scored from the penalty spot after a foul by Oguchi Onyewu.

The U.S. needs to beat Ghana and have Italy beat the Czech Republic to advance to the second round. Marco Materazzi scored after coming on as a substitute to give Italy a 1-0 halftime lead over the Czech Republic.

Draman, playing his eighth international, caught U.S. captain Claudio Reyna in possession, robbed him of the ball and stroked it carefully wide of goalkeeper Kasey Keller.

German referee Markus Merk booked Ghana's inspirational playmaker Michael Essien, meaning he will not be available should Ghana qualify for the second round.

In the 43rd minute Marcus Beasley crossed for Dempsey to score from 10 meters (yards).