US men’s national team stuns Netherlands with 2 late goals for 4-3 victory
In a wide-open friendly that produced a barrage of chances and a stunning finish, the U.S. men’s national soccer team scored twice in the closing moments to shock the sixth-ranked Netherlands, 4-3, on Friday at Amsterdam Arena.
Danny Williams scored the equalizer in the 88th minute and Bobby Wood broke the deadline in the 90th as the U.S. overcame a 3-1 deficit in the last 20-plus minutes to produce one of the greatest away victories in the program’s recent history.
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar scored twice and was credited with the assist on Memphis Depay’s accidental deflection. Gyassi Zardes, a 23-year-old forward for the Los Angeles Galaxy, and John Brooks also scored for the U.S., who will face World Cup champion Germany on Wednesday in Cologne.
The U.S. team was confident and assertive as the match unfolded, holding possession and creating regular opportunities. Jasper Cillessen thwarted Zardes’ clear bid from 12 yards. Michael Bradley smacked the right post from the top of the box. And Brek Shea picked the right angle to infiltrate the penalty area but did not fool Cillessen with his low effort.
The missed opportunities bit the U.S. in the 27th minute when Depay swung in a left-side cross toward Huntelaar, who slipped into a pocket behind Brooks and in front of Ventura Alvarado for a six-yard header past Brad Guzan.
The U.S., ranked No. 27, answered in the 33rd minute when Zardes used the outside of his inside foot to one-time Fabian Johnson’s cross into the near corner for his first career goal in seven appearances.
Halftime could not arrive soon enough, though, as the 2014 World Cup semifinalists were reliably dangerous and applied heavy pressure. An apparent goal in the closing moments was nullified by a foul call in the box.
The Dutch picked up where they left off at the start of the second half. A moment after Guzan stopped Robin van Persie’s close-in header, Huntelaar gained inside position on substitute Michael Orozco and headed Gregory van der Wiel’s cross over the beleaguered goalkeeper.
The madness continued in the 53rd minute when Huntelaar’s drive from the top of the box clipped Depay, caromed off the right post and behind Guzan.
The wide-open play resumed. Zardes’s low threat in the 64th was kicked aside by Cillessen. Brooks cut the deficit to 3-2 after surging out of the back and connecting with Bradley, whose diagonal ball led DeAndre Yedlin into the right side of the box. Yedlin crossed to the unmarked Brooks for his first goal since scoring the game-winner against Ghana in the World Cup opener last summer.
Moments later, Cillessen denied Bobby Wood’s bid for the equalizer. In the 83rd minute, Johnson narrowly avoided an own goal when his clearance of a Dutch threat nicked the post.
The chances continued to flow. Cillessen blocked Jordan Morris’s near-post effort, but later, Williams’s 20-yard bid off a clearance deflected off Luuk De Jong and sailed into the right side of the net for his first international goal.
At the other end, Guzan made a sensational save on De Jong, who sent the rebound off the post.
Then in the 90th, Bradley’s work supplied Morris, whose right-side cross found Wood, 22, alone at the six-yard box for an improbable winning goal, his first strike in a U.S. uniform.
“It was an unbelievable game,” Williams said. “It’s a fantastic feeling to win against Holland in Amsterdam.”
© 2015, The Washington Post
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