Fate seemed to beg Landon Donovan to score in his final half as a United States. The goal didn’t come, but that didn’t stop his 41st minute exit from being as bittersweet as you’d like.
Running across the field to salute his fans after hugging his teammates and some officials, Donovan shared a moment with his smiling coach Jurgen Klinsmann, with who things have often been just bitter. A minute’s standing ovation from the Connecticut crowd made it nice.
Oh, and the game. The States lead Ecuador 1-0 on an early Mix Diskerud goal.
Donovan’s first touch was a pretty one, back heeling an end line runner for DeAndre Yedlin.
Yedlin turned provider after Jozy Altidore found him in the 18. The Sounders back fed Mix Diskerud, who made no doubt about a fifth-minute finish. It was 1-0 States early.
Joe Gyau nearly set the table for bedlam, finding Donovan only to see the Galaxy striker’s shot dribble wide of the far post. But the Borussia Dortmund youngster’s moment of the game came later, and it wasn’t good.
Gyau came up lame with a left knee injury and immediately called for a sub. He left the field on crutches, his left knee wrapped in ice.
Altidore barely missed making it 2-0 on a great run in the 18th minute.
With time running out on his 30-minute curfew, Donovan missed again when he cranked a shot off the right pipe and couldn’t jab the rebound past Paredes.
Brad Guzan made a fabulous save on Enner Valencia after the Ecuador star striker took advantage of a Timmy Chandler gaffe to race in on goal. The 1v1 shot was parried, and Guzan made another save moments later in the 28th minute.
And in the 38th minute, time well past his exit time, Donovan hit a low shot wide after Altidore went out of his way to find the finale man.
His moment came soon after.
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) October 10, 2014
Paredes came up big before halftime after Bobby Wood’s cross was cleared to Yedlin. The Ecuador keeper stopped Yedlin’s close range shot.
United States: Guzan, Chandler, Orozco, Brooks, Garza; Yedlin, Bedoya, Diskerud, Gyau (Wood, 21′); Donovan (Corona, 41′), Altidore
Goal: Diskerud (5′)
Subs: Rimando, Gonzalez, Ream, Ibarra, Wondolowski, Morales, Corona, Wood, Gil
Ecuador: Paredes, Cangá, Erazo, Ayoví; R. Ibarra, Castillo, Noboa, Cazares; Penilla, E. Valencia