Final: Netherlands 2 United States 1
A push by Jonathan Bornstein on Wesley Sneijder, left, gave the Dutch a first half advantage from the penalty spot over the U.S. that they never relinquished in what was a comfortable win for the world’s No. 3-ranked team (AP Photo).
And it was a flattering scoreline for the Americans considering they didn’t really start playing until the 89th minute when Carlos Bocanegra scored from a DaMarcus Beasley free kick.
Did the U.S. even have a shot on target until that point?
A spectacularly stupid error by Chivas USA defender Jonny Bornstein gave the Dutch a penalty kick and a 1-0 lead at the half. The second Netherlands goal was also deflected into the goal by a ball-watching Bornstein, who failed to deny the attacking Dutch space in front of the U.S. net.
Landon Donovan was mostly AWOL, too.
But the No. 3 Dutch easily handled the outclassed Americans, who, of course, were without a half dozen or so likely starters through injury. Let’s hope Stuart Holden, who limped off in the first half and was replaced, doesn’t add to the list.
“Certainly it was a good test for us, and I think overall the team played well,” U.S. Coach Bradley said. “The collective effort was pretty solid. There were moments where it needed to be sharper, quicker and better and we still need to raise the bar. Late in the game it was nice to see a good push. We had the ability to move the ball forward get people running off it and we created some good opportunities. We take a lot from the game.”
All in all, another disappointing outing:
AMSTERDAM (AP) — The United States fell flat in Europe once again, losing to the Netherlands 2-1 Wednesday night in the Americans’ last match before coach Bob Bradley picks his World Cup roster.
Dirk Kuyt converted a penalty kick in the 40th minute after Jonathan Bornstein pushed Wesley Sneijder in the penalty area. Kuyt sent his kick to the right of goalkeeper Tim Howard, who dived the other way.
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar made it 2-0 for the third-ranked Dutch in the 73rd minute with a shot that deflected off Bornstein and left Howard with no chance to stop it.
U.S. captain Carlos Bocanegra scored in the 88th minute, beating Maarten Stekelenburg to the 6-yard box to head in DaMarcus Beasley’s 35-yard free kick. It was his 12th goal in 77 international appearances.
Beasley had a chance to tie it in the 90th, but his free kick from just outside the penalty
area was easily grabbed by Stekelenburg.
Rejoining the national team for the first time since playing poorly in last June’s
Confederations Cup, Beasley entered in the 34th minute after Stuart Holden limped off with a bruised shin sustained from a hard tackle by Nigel de Jong. Holden was taken for X-rays.
Maurice Edu, Beasley’s Glasgow Rangers, teammate, replaced Jose Torres at the start of the second half, Edu’s first international appearance knee surgery last June.
Robbie Findlay was paired up front with Jozy Altidore at the start, then was replaced in the 62nd minute by Alejandro Bedoya. Eddie Johnson entered in the 76th for Landon Donovan, who hardly touched the ball while playing a day before his 28th birthday.
The 18th-ranked U.S. has lost its last five matches in Europe and is 4-19-3 on soccer’s most powerful continent since April 1998, with three wins over Poland and one over Switzerland. The Dutch are 4-0 against the Americans, outscoring them 7-1.
Playing on Bradley’s 52nd birthday, the U.S. debuted new obsidian road jerseys with white sashes that harken back to the jerseys the Americans wore at the 1950 World Cup, where they upset England 1-0.
The Americans play England on June 12 in their World Cup opener and complete the first round against Slovenia and Algeria.
The Americans are now off until May 25, when they play the Czech Republic at East Hartford, Conn. They face Turkey four days later in Philadelphia before heading to South Africa, where they may play Australia on June 5 in Johannesburg.
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