Jozy Altidore’s scored his first international goal in 19 months in a stunning 4-3 over Germany for the United States. Jurgen Klinsmann’s men now have tremendous momentum heading into three vital World Cup qualifiers later this month.
Although the Germans lacked several top names from Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid stars Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira, this is a great scalp for the United States.
Altidore’s first-half opening goal set the tone for a win over Germany in the Centennial Celebration match in front of 47,359 at RFK Stadium on Sunday. Tottenham’s Clint Dempsey scored two goals in the second half to put away the result, as the Americans beat Germany for the first time since the 1999 FIFA Confederations Cup.
Dempsey netted his 34th and 35th international goals in his 96th appearance for the US, moving past Eric Wynalda into second on the all-time scoring list, and now just 14 shy of Landon Donovan’s record.
It was a great start for the hosts as AZ Alkmaar striker Altidore broke his drought in the 13th minute, hitting a wonderful first-time volley off a cross from winger Graham Zusi. He had not scored in the run of play for the Americans since June 2011, and it was his first international goal since a penalty against Slovenia in November 2011.
Four minutes later, Klinsmann’s team were given a stroke of luck and were gifted a goal, as German goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen failed to handle Benedikt Howedes’ backpass and allowed the ball to creep into the low left corner of his goal.
In the 24th minute, German captain Miroslav Klose took a breakaway pass and flicked a right-footed shot past a helpless Howard, but the Lazio striker was offside on the play, nullifying the effort as Germany trailed 2-0 at half-time. Klose remains one goal shy of Gerd Müller’s all-time German national team record of 68 goals.
Tall defender Per Mertesacker had an earlier opportunity to open the scoring, but the Arsenal man miss a great chance from close range. Germany finally got on the scoreboard after half-time, in the 52nd minute, with substitute defender Heiko Westermann heading home Max Kruse’s corner kick. The Hamburg defender lost the marking of Omar Gonzalez and connected for a clean header.
But Dempsey restored the two-goal advantage on the hour mark, blasting home an effort off an Altidore cross. The striker latched onto a long ball from Jermaine Jones, taking it down off his chest. Even though his touch took him away from goal, he remained patient and spotted both Michael Bradley and Dempsey in the box. The attacking Dempsey made no mistake with his first-time hit to make it 3-1.
Dempsey added his second in spectacular fashion minutes later, as he put a perfectly placed left-footed shot from long range past Ter Stegen to send the capacity crowd wild. Even though Kruse’s vicious right-footed strike and Draxler’s opportunistic tap-in brought Germany within 4-3, the USA saw out the victory, ensuring that Klinsmann defeated his former national side and assistant coach, Germany manager Joachim Lowe.
The U.S. now prepare for a key stretch of qualifying matches: Friday away to Jamaica; June 11 against Panama in Seattle; and June 18 versus Honduras at Sandy, Utah. The Germans can now regroup as they do not play again till August 14th in another friendly against Paraguay.
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