Altidore Brace Earns USMNT 2-1 Win over Peru

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by Deny Gallagher

With a lot of doubt about the direction of the United States Men’s National Team following a disappointing Gold Cup, Jurgen Klinsmann’s side silenced the doubters with an impressive 2-1 victory over Peru in Washington D.C.

Jozy Altidore’s second half brace led the way as the Americans overcame an early deficit to win the match at RFK Stadium.

In the opening five minutes, the United States played like a side with something to prove as they posed a serious threat to the Peruvian goal. As the game settled into a rhythm, however, it became clear that Peru was content to let the US start off at a torrent pace before establishing their slow, methodical style of possession.

In the 20th minute, the momentum of the match changed completely as Daniel Chavez received the ball at the top of the area. The player made space and took a shot, but the strike deflected off the foot of Omar Gonzalez, arching high into the night and over a diving Brad Guzan.

The United States unraveled as Peru’s possession and their attack became increasingly dangerous.

The United States showed signs of life in the 39th minute. A Jermaine Jones strike from about 30 yards was pushed away by Pedro Gallese. On the ensuing corner, the United States wasted their best opportunity of the half when John Brooks skied a one-on-one opportunity with the keeper.

In the minutes that followed, a Herculean effort by Jozy Altidore to create an opportunity and an Omar Gonzalez header nearly brought the United State level. Instead, the hosts entered the half trailing 1-0 to Peru.

A little more than 10 minutes into the second half, the U.S. fortunes changed for the better. A long throw-in to Altidore was chested with his back to goal. The ball settled and flicked over the striker’s head, but on the turn, Altidore was brought to ground to earn a penalty. The New Jersey native stepped to the spot to take the penalty. His first shot was denied. However, Jozy followed his shot and tapped in the rebound for the equalizer.

In the 67th minute, Brad Guzan came up big to deny a header off a Peru free kick. The follow up was even more impressive, as the ball bounced around inches from the goal line. Somehow, it ended up between Guzan’s legs before the Aston Villa man was able to collect it and end the attack.

On the next passage of play, the United States was able to advance the ball up the field and move with ease into the final third. Yedlin cut it back, finding Altidore at the spot. A late slide by the Peruvian defender averted the ball away from the striker’s feet but only briefly. Gyasi Zardes claimed the ball to connect with Altidore. The Toronto FC man finished the opportunity to put the Stars and Stripes up 2-1.

The contest would get feisty as the visitors looked for an equalizer, but were unable to penetrate Guzan and the American defense.

The U.S. now looks forward to their second friendly; a much anticipated encounter against Brazil on September 8th.

Match: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Peru
Date: Sept. 4, 2015
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: RFK Stadium; Washington, D.C.
Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET
Attendance: 28,896
Weather: 83 degrees; Mostly cloudy, humid

Scoring Summary:   1          2          F
USA                            0          2          2
PER                            1          0          1

PER – Daniel Chávez (Andre Carrillo)           20th minute
USA – Jozy Altidore                                       59
USA – Jozy Altidore (Gyasi Zardes)              68

Lineups:
USA: 1-Brad Guzan; 15-Michael Orozco (20-Geoff Cameron, 46), 3-Omar Gonzalez (19-Ventura Alvarado, 46), 6-John Brooks (5-Matt Besler, 63), 23-Tim Ream; 2-DeAndre Yedlin, 13-Jermaine Jones (14-Danny Williams, 72), 11-Alejandro Bedoya (10-Mix Diskerud, 46), 21-Gyasi Zardes; 17-Jozy Altidore (capt.), 18-Bobby Wood (9-Aron Johannsson, 71)
Subs Not Used: 7-Alfredo Morales, 12-Tim Howard, 24-Joe Corona, 26-Andrew Wooten
Head Coach: Jurgen Klinsmann

PER: 1-Pedro Gallese; 5-Carlos Zambrano, 6-Juan Manuel Vargas, 8-Christian Cueva (13-Edison Flores, 82), 10-Jefferson Farfan, 16-Carlos Lobaton (capt.) (19-Victor Yotun, 72), 17-Luis Advincula, 18-Andre Carrillo (7-Paolo Hurtado, 64), 21-Josepmir Ballon (24-Renato Tapia, 64), 22-Carlos Ascues, 23-Daniel Chavez (14-Ivan Bulos Guerrero, 82)
Subs Not Used: 2-Jair Cespedes, 3-Hansell Riojas, 4-Pedro Requena, 9-Jose Paolo Guerrero, 12-Diego Penny, 15-Christian Ramos, 20-Joel Sanchez
Head coach: Ricardo Gareca

Stats Summary: USA / PER
Shots: 16 / 15
Shots on Goal: 7 / 4
Saves: 3 / 3
Corner Kicks: 6 / 6
Fouls: 11 / 13
Offside: 1 / 1

Misconduct Summary:
USA – John Brooks (caution)                         48th minute
USA – Jozy Altidore (caution)                        86

Officials:
Referee: Francisco Chacon (MEX)
Assistant Referee 1: Miguel Angel Hernandez (MEX)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Rangel (MEX)
4th Official: Fernando Guerrero (MEX)

Budweiser Man of the Match: TBD