New England Soccer Today

U.S. Shock World Champs

For the second straight match a late goal from Bobby Wood gave the 27t-ranked U.S. National Team a surprise victory over a European powerhouse, this time defeating defending FIFA World Cup Champions and top-ranked Germany 2-1 in Cologne, Germany on Wednesday in a friendly. The match comes just days after Wood’s late goal gave the U.S. a 4-3 win over the sixth-ranked Netherlands in Amsterdam.

Germany dominated early and took a 12th minute lead through Mario Götze, but the U.S. showed some signs of life equalizing through Mix Diskerud in the 41st minute. The U.S. then often looked the better side after the break and grabbed a deserved winner through Bobby Wood in the 87th minute to end their two game road trip to Europe with a perfect 2-0 record.

Head coach Jurgen Klinsmann made several changes to the line-up that defeated Netherlands 4-3 on Friday. Among them was inserting New England Revolution forward Juan Agudelo into the starting line-up after he saw no time in the previous match. Agudelo played the first 45 minutes before being subbed out at halftime.

Germany had the U.S. on the back foot in the early going and had a dangerous chance in the seventh minute when a cross from the right flank found Mario Götze wide open in the left side of the box. Götze brought the ball down and played it to Mesut Özil who powered a shot on frame, but it was right at Brad Guzan, who made the save.

Two minutes later the U.S. had their first chance with Aron Jóhannsson getting the ball on the right flank and cutting into the box. Jóhannsson played the ball back to Michael Bradley, who tried to continue it on to one of a pair of U.S. players in the box. Bradley’s pass was a bit behind Mix Diskerud, but Diskerud got the ball at the top of the box, turned, and unleashed a shot that was just high of the net.

The home side would have the first breakthrough in the 12th minute when a pass from Patrick Herrmann found Götze open again in the left side of the box. This time Götze took the shot himself, slotting it past Guzan to make it 1-0.

Guzan came up big in the 31st minute to keep the deficit at one when Götze got behind the defense and tried to tuck it past the American ‘keeper, but was denied by a key save.

A minute later Götze played provider, sending a cross to André Schürrle who beat the U.S. offside trap, but sent his header right at Guzan.

After a spell of heavy pressure from Germany, the U.S. had a rare spell of possession heading into the 41st minute before finding an equalizer. Bradley played a perfect pass to Diskerud in the left side of the box, who ran in and placed a shot inside the far post past Ron-Robert Zieler to knot the score at 1-1.

A few minutes later the U.S. had another chance on the counterattack, but Gyassi Zardes sent his shot from outside of the box high of the target.

Zardes, who moved up to striker at half time when Agudelo was subbed off, had a chance in the 49th minute after Diskerud flicked a pass on to him making a run into the center of the box. Zardes looked to hold of his defender and bring the ball down, but a last ditch challenge from a German defender kept him from getting a shot off.

The U.S. did much better at limiting Germany’s chances in the second half, but Herrmann created a good chance in the 66th minute with a dangerous cross. His effort found Sami Khedira behind the defense, but Khedira’s header from close range went wide of the far post.

Substitute Jordan Morris almost scored seconds after entering the match in the 75th minute. Morris got the ball just outside the box, turned and drove a lot shot to the far post that was just wide.

An impressive counterattack nearly got the U.S. the lead in the 83rd minute when substitute DeAndre Yedlin got the ball in space down the right flank. Yedlin ran towards the box before sending a low cross through the box. The ball fell to an open Bradley, who hammered a low shot on target, but Zieler made the save.

Wood then scored the winner in the 87th minute after getting the ball from fellow substitute Brad Evans. Wood turned and placed a perfect shot into the far lower corner from just outside the box to make it 2-1 U.S.

Germany nearly found an equalizer in the last minute of stoppage time, but Khedira’s header hit the crossbar, assuring the U.S. a victory.

The U.S. continues to prepare for the Gold Cup with a match against Guatemala on July 3 in Nashville, Tenn.

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