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September 6, 2011
U.S. drops second straight 1-0 to Belgium

Maurice Edu had a goal called back for offside in the 86th minute of Tuesday’s 1-0 loss to Belgium.
Maurice Edu had a goal called back for offside in the 86th minute of Tuesday’s 1-0 loss to Belgium.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
BRUSSELS, Belgium – The Jurgen Klinsmann era as coach of the U.S. National Team is not exactly off to a bang up start, as the U.S. lost its second straight game on Tuesday at King Baudouin Stadium, 1-0 to Belgium.

A 55th minute goal from Nicolas Lombaerts proved to be the game winner.

The U.S. had an 86th-minute goal from Maurice Edu disallowed for an apparent offside and could not come up with an equalizer.

“I think it was an interesting game for both sides,” said Klinsmann. “You saw in the first 25 minutes we had good passing movement and we were really involved in the game. The Belgian side, with their individual class, created some good chances before halftime. Second half, the reaction was very positive after conceding the goal. We kept moving forward and we kept creating chances. We take a lot away from this game. Overall some very, very good points and an interesting game I think for everybody."

The U.S. is 0-2-1 under Klinsmann, falling to Costa Rica and tying Mexico.

The Belgian goal came 10 minutes into the second half off a throw-in from the right sideline. Edu challenged Marouane Fellaini in the air and the ball skimmed off the Belgian’s head to the top of the penalty area where Lombaerts laced a 22-yard shot off the wet turf under the diving Tim Howard. The U.S. goalkeeper, who was screened by several players, got a piece of the ball but could not turn it away as it skidded under his left arm and into the net.

The USA’s best chance of the first half came in the fifth minute as Clint Dempsey pounded a free kick off the wet turf that struck Belgium goalkeeper Simon Mignolet in the face. Jozy Altidore tried to follow up the rebound but was clipped from behind by Toby Alderweireld before he could get a strike on the ball.

In the 70th minute, Dempsey feinted his way into the left corner of the penalty area, beating a defender with a wind-up, but struck his rolling shot right at the Belgian ‘keeper.

In the 89th minute, Brek Shea finished a long run down left flank with a pass into the middle to Dempsey who fired a first-time shot with the outside of his right foot, but it took a deflection off a defender and Mignolet was able to grab it easily.

Howard, who had four saves in the game, came up big in the 26th minute. Timmy Simons fired a drive from outside the penalty arc that flew through traffic., Howard dove low to his right to power the ball out of danger.

The U.S. called upon Howard again in the 34th minute as Fellaini sent a blistering volley on frame from a Dries Mertens cross. Howard, who had just an instant to react before the ball pounded his gloves, pushed it out of danger once again.

The U.S. team will be back in action on Saturday, Oct. 8, when the Americans host 2010 World Cup participant Honduras in an international friendly at Sun Life Stadium in Miami.
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