Chile rises up to beat U.S., 3-2, in friendly match
Mark Gonzalez scored in the 66th and 75 minutes, rallying Chile to a 3-2 exhibition win over the United States on Wednesday night that sent the Americans to their first five-game winless streak since 2007.
The 27th-ranked Americans led 2-1 at halftime on goals by Brek Shea in the sixth minute and Jozy Altidore in the 31st around Roberto Gutierrez’s 10th-minute equalizer in the game played in Rancagua, Chile.
U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann unveiled a 3-5-2 formation in his team’s 2015 opener, but the Americans once again were tripped up by their habit of fading in the second half. With the defeat to No. 14 Chile, they have lost three straight games for the first time since late 2009 and early 2010, and they have one victory in nine matches (1-5-3) since beating Ghana in their World Cup opener last June.
Both teams were missing nearly all Europe-based players because the match was not on a FIFA fixture date. Most Americans have not played since mid-November.
D.C. United defender Steve Birnbaum made his U.S. national team debut, starting at right back. Two other players entered in the second half for their first international appearances: Columbus defender Wil Trapp in the 60th and Los Angeles Galaxy forward Gyasi Zardes in the 68th.
Jermaine Jones played center back in front of goalkeeper Nick Rimando and Matt Besler on the left. Mix Diskerud and Michael Bradley were in defensive midfield, and Clint Dempsey in the center of attacking midfield, with DeAndre Yedlin on the right and Shea on the left. Altidore and Bobby Wood started at forward.
Shea and Altidore returned to Major League Soccer this month following struggles in England. Shea signed with expansion Orlando after appearing in just three league and two League Cup games for Stoke over the previous two years. Altidore joined Toronto following an awful 1 1/2 years at Sunderland, where he scored one goal in 40 league appearances with the Black Cats.
Shea scored his third international goal and first since the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Besler played in a longball and Shea ran on to it, letting it bounce three times before beating goalkeeper Johnny Herrera with a left-footed angled shot from about 11 yards.
Gutierrez tied the score when he split Jones and Besler to beat Rimando with a glancing header from 7 yards off Gonzalez’s cross.
Altidore put the U.S. back ahead with his 26th international goal. Yedlin, who joined the team in South America following his first few weeks of training with Tottenham, made a short throw in to Mix Diskerud. He exchanged passes with Yedlin, and Diskerud crossed for Altidore, who scored with his right foot from 10 yards.
Chile had two other good chances in the first half. Rimando made a left-handed save to block Diego Valdes’ point-blank shot from 8 yards in the 37th after Jones’ giveaway. Gutierrez got free from Jones to head in a cross in the 45th but was called for offside.
Lee Nguyen replaced Wood at the start of the second half and Dempsey moved up to forward as the U.S. transformed into a 4-4-2, and Bradley nearly extended the lead to two goals in the 61st with a 23-yard shot that hit the intersection of the crossbar and a post.
Gonzalez then scored with an angled 7-yard shot and got the go-ahead with a shot that deflected off a foot of Birnbaum and past Rimando, who had dived to parry a long-range initial shot.
Go beyond the scoreboard
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