On a hot and humid night in Washington D.C., the USMNT erased a first-half deficit to defeat Peru 2-1 on the heels of two goals from Jozy Altidore.
Despite looking a bit sluggish in the first half, the U.S. looked much better in the second and will surely take some positives heading into Tuesday’s match against Brazil
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The United States had the better possession to start the match, with Gyasi Zardes and DeAndre Yedlin getting involved on the wings. Despite neither of the two being a classic outside-midfielder, both looked comfortable and created some of the USMNT’s best chances.
However, after the opening minutes, Peru got settled into the match and began to control more of the play, eventually taking the lead in the 20th minute. After a good spell of possession, Daniel Chavez found the ball outside of the box and hit a shot on goal. The shot that took a big deflection off Omar Gonzalez and dropped over Guzan, who was caught off his line by the redirection.
Peru continued to see more possession throughout the middle of the half, but the U.S. fought back to try and find an equalizer before the break.
Jermaine Jones made a streaking run down the center of the pitch and fired a left-footed shot on goal that was headed for the top corner, but Pedro Gallese was able to parry the ball wide. Off the ensuing corner kick, John Brooks found the ball all alone of the six-yard box, but somehow skied the ball way over the bar.
Klinsmann made three substitutions to start the second half, with Geoff Cameron, Ventura Alvarado and Mix Diskerud replacing Michael Orozco, Omar Gonzalez and Alejandro Bedoya.
The U.S. came out of the break continuing their strong play from the end of the first half, and was able to find an equalizer in the 59th minute. Jozy Altidore flicked the ball over his defender and was taken down from behind as he turned, with the referee pointing to the spot. Altidore stepped up for the penalty kick and had his initial shot saved by Pedro Gallese, but followed up on his own rebound to draw the USMNT level.
Brad Guzan made sure Peru didn’t regain the lead, making two amazing back-to-back stops off a set piece. Peru swung in a free kick as Guzan made a sprawling save off a header, and then somehow stopped Renato Tapia’s rebound attempt while still down from his initial save.
The U.S. then bombed down the field on the right wing, with DeAndre Yedlin cutting the ball back across the box. Gyasi Zardes found the cross and slotted it to the back post, where Altidore found his second of the game from close range.
Peru put on a bit more pressure in the final minutes, but the U.S. defense stood strong and held on for the win. Despite being just a friendly, this was a massive result for Jurgen Klinsmann’s men.