September 4, 2015
STILL NOT ENOUGH
Altidore scores twice to earn motivational victory
WASHINGTON -- Not the improvements the United States hoped for, yet a much needed win for Jurgen Klinsmann and the National Team.
|Jozy Altidore scored both second half goals for the U.S.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
Coming off a lousy performance at the CONCACAF Gold Cup, finishing in 4th place after a shootout loss to Panama at PPL Park, the Americans managed to seal a 2-1 victory over Peru in front of 28,896 fans at RFK Stadium.
With two second-half goals, Jozy Altidore picked up the USMNT from a 1-0 deficit that began in the 20th minute, when Peruvian striker Daniel Chavez gave his side the lead.
Despite kicking off with intensity, it only took five minutes for the USMNT to start losing their shape, giving Peru the space and tempo necessary to go ahead.
Chavez received a ball from his right side, and with plenty of space to position himself, took a shot from the edge of the box that awfully deflected off Omar Gonzalez, surpassing a surprised and helpless Brad Guzan.
Not the kind of trouble the US keeper prepared for when fighting to keep the number 1 spot over recently returned Tim Howard.
With the goal, Peru gained the confidence necessary to take the lead into halftime, despite a run of attempts by the USMNT to find the equalizer in the final minutes of the half.
Coming into the second half, Klinsmann did not waste any time to reassess his defensive line; a major area of concern for the German. Geoff Cameron and Ventura Alvarado came in for Omar Gonzalez and Michael Orozco, while Mix Diskerud took Alejandro Bedoyaís place.
The USMNTís destiny was meant to change in the 58th minute when Altidore got held off inside the box by Peruís center back Carlos Zambrano.
Despite seeing his penalty shot figured out by Peruís keeper Pedro Gallese, Altidore followed up the rebound to get the equalizer for the Americans just a minute short from the hour mark. The bottom right shot was Altidoreís second penalty miss of the year, as he was also denied by Guatemalaís Paulo Motta in a July friendly.
Klinsmannís third defensive shake-up brought in Matt Besler for John Brooks in the 63rd minute. Guzan came up huge with a fantastic save off a perfect cross that followed Chavezís header to the bottom right corner in the 67th minute.
Giasi Zardesí continuous speed and hard work throughout the game set the Americans up for glory just a minute later.
Zardes' ball into the back post was deflected by Peruís second half sub Renato Tapia, but Altidore was there to smash it to the back of the net for the 2-1, and his 29th international goal.
Despite Peruís desperate attempts to push numbers forward in search of an equalizer, the USMNT maintained their momentum to keep the result and a much needed victory as they prep up to face Mexico on Oct. 10 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif.
Aaron Johannsson and Danny Williams also saw some action for the USMNT, while Paolo Hurtado, Yoshimar Yotun, Edison Flores and Ivan Bulos did for Peru.