It seemed that Aston Villa were set to take the lead against Everton after not even ten minutes had passed at Villa Park. Christian Benteke wormed his way into the area, startling Toffees defender Seamus Coleman and causing him to bring the Belgian to ground. The referee immediately pointed to the spot, and Benteke himself stepped up to take.
But goalkeeper Tim Howard was ready. Benteke sent his shot to the American’s right side and Howard was quick on his feet, diving to the side and pushing away the ball with his left hand. The ball flipped over the crossbar, putting it out of danger — because when Villa have a corner, there’s rarely a threat to the opposing team’s goal.
This game was billed as a Battle Between the Belgians, with Romelu Lukaku of Everton leading the Everton attack, and of course Benteke up front for Aston Villa. It seems, however, that it may end up as a Battle Between the Americans, which has less of a ring to it, but invites much more interest from those curious to figure out whether it will be Howard or Brad Guzan who gets the starting role for the United States at Brazil in 2014.