Wood, Diskerud Help U.S. Knock Off Germany

IMAGE, USSOCCER.COM

by DENY GALLAGHER
USMNT writer

In his return to the country where manager Jurgen Klinsmann has enjoyed immense success, the former German international led the United States to a shocking 2-1 result in Cologne.

After falling behind once again, the United States found an equalizer in the 42nd minute off the foot of NYCFC’s Mix Diskerud. The fireworks were far from over, as Bobby Wood found the late winner.

The result marks the United States’ second ever victory over a defending World Cup champion.

In the early going, Germany made their presence known by getting a few early opportunities. None posed a serious threat to the American defense.

The United States would answer the German attack in the 10th minute courtesy of a Mix Diskerud strike from outside the area. The attempt went just over the bar to keep it scoreless.

The level score line would be short lived, as the Germans opened the scoring in the 12th minute. After dusting Diskerud on the right flank, Patrikc Herrmann was able to find a wide-open Mario Gotze around the six-yard-box. The Bayern Munich striker managed the tap in to give the hosts a 1-0 advantage.

With Brad Guzan keeping the Americans alive, it was up to the offense to get something going.

With just minutes to go in the first half, Timothy Chandler received an outlet pass on the other side of midfield. The defender found Michael Bradley whom, in a move that was half poetry and half unbridled ambition, turned toward goal and played a daring ball that found the chest of Mix Diskerud. The NYCFC man would bring the ball to turf before volleying in the equalizer. After 41 minutes of play, the United States and Germany were level.

The sides would go into the locker room tied at 1-1.

The second half saw a United States team that had more confidence, and much more possession than in the first half.

As the final stanza went on, the opportunities became increasingly dangerous for the United States. In the 75th minute, Jordan Morris came inches from being the hero once more. After a pass between Bradley and Bobby Wood was interrupted, the Stanford man got hold of the ball and bent an outside-of-the-foot shot just past the left goal post.

Moments later off a corner, Michael Bradley delivered the service into the near post. If it hadn’t been for a last minute punch by German goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler, the Toronto FC midfielder would have scored from a corner for the second time in 2015.

As the clock ticked up toward 90, the pressure by the Americans rose as well. Zieler was once again called into action in the 82nd minute, after a venomous strike by Michael Bradley was deflected away by the feet of the German goalkeeper.

With full time rapidly approaching, it felt as if maybe the United States would not be rewarded for their attacking play.

In the 87th minute, that changed. Brad Evans played a ball up to Jordan Morris. Morris would execute the perfect dummy play, as the run drew his man off a ball that found the feet of Bobby Wood. The TSV 1860 München striker received the ball with his back to goal. After a few touches, the striker turned around and created space for a shot.

The Hawaiian’s strike from the top of the box had just enough bend on it to get past the diving Zieler to put the U.S. a goal up in Cologne.

This friendly would not have been complete if Germany didn’t have one last chance.

In the last minute of stoppage time, Mesut Özil played a short chip from the top of the box to the right flank. The ball found Karim Bellarabi, who diverted it to the top of the 6-yard-box where it met the head of Sami Khedira. As the ball traveled toward the goal, Guzan wall called into action. The Aston Villa keeper reacted to the ball, and began to dive to save the attempt. The header by Juventus’ latest signing would beat Guzan, but deflected off the cross bar and out of danger.

When the final whistle blew, jubilation met relief as the United States pulled off the historic upset by a score of 2-1.

In the past three games the United States has beaten three of the SPI Top 15.

The United States has one more tune-up before the Gold Cup when they take on Guatemala in Nashville on July 3rd.

The match can be seen on Fox Sports 1 and UniMas.