U.S. Tops Australia 3-1 in Final Tune-Up Before Opening Game of 2010 FIFA World Cup
- Brace from Edson Buddle and a Late Goal from Herculez Gomez Gives USA Victory Against Fellow World Cup Qualifier
- U.S. to Open FIFA World Cup Campaign on Saturday, June 12, Against England, Live on ABC and Univision at 2:30 p.m. ET
ROODEPOORT, South Africa (June 5, 2010) -- In the final tune-up game before the opening match of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the U.S. Men’s National Team used two goals from Edson Buddle and a late score from Herculez Gomez to earn a 3-1 victory against Australia in front of a small but boisterous crowd at Ruimsig Stadium.
Buddle’s goals were the first and second of his national team career and they came in just his third appearance. Gomez’ stoppage time tally was his second career goal in four appearances.
The match came five days after the USA arrived in South Africa and a week before the Americans their 2010 FIFA World Cup against England at Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg. The match kicks of at 2:30 p.m. ET live on ABC and Univision.
U.S. head coach Bob Bradley made several changes from the lineup that defeated Turkey 2-1 on May 29 in the USA’s final domestic warm-up match, inserting veteran Steve Cherundolo at right back and using both Buddle and Robbie Findley at forward while dropping Clint Dempsey back from striker to left midfield.
Buddle rewarded his coach’s confidence with an impressive individual effort that led to a goal in just the fourth minute. It came after he tracked back to pick the ball off the feet of an Aussie defender and then raced toward an off-balance Aussie defense. Buddle beat a defender with a nifty move to his right and stuck a dipping a shot inside the right post past diving Australia ‘keeper Mark Schwarzer to give the Americans an early advantage.
Australia’s Tim Cahill leveled the score in the 19th minute on a corner kick, finding space inside the penalty box to volley the cross through traffic and into the lower left corner.
Both teams wanted to avoid any injuries with their World Cup openers on the horizon but the match was far from conservative. The teams combined for 25 shots and both countries attacked with energy.
The Americans regained the lead in the 31st minute when Cherundolo got past his defender with a great burst down the right wing and played a teasing cross to the far post where Buddle got in front his mark and headed home from close range past the helpless Schwarzer.
At halftime, Bradley changed goalkeepers, replacing Tim Howard with Marcus Hahnemann who earned his first cap since 2007. Hahnemann was forced into several tough saves, but kept the Socceroos off the board in the second half. It was the first of five changes made by Bradley, who also gave Oguchi Onyewu 30 minutes in place of Clarence Goodson while Jonathan Bornstein replaced captain Carlos Bocanegra for the final 36 minutes. DaMarcus Beasley also came on in 72nd minute in place of Buddle while Gomez got on the field in the 82nd minute in place of Dempsey, who certainly did not cruise into the World Cup. The Texas native showed plenty of attacking energy despite Australia taking at least three nasty whacks at his legs during the match.
The USA had a goal disallowed in 51st minute after a wild sequence that started when Landon Donovan put Buddle through into the left side of the penalty area. Buddle’s cross found the sliding Findley at the back post, but his shot hit the crossbar. It bounced in the box before it was poorly cleared by Australia to Michael Bradley, who dribbled at goal and unleashed a blast that Schwarzer could only bat into the air. Dempsey came flying through to send a diving header into the net, but it was waved off for offside.
The final goal came after a crisp series of passing by the U.S. near the top of the penalty box in the third minute of stoppage time. Donovan got possession on the right side and rewarded a good run from Gomez, skipping a cross into the middle for the forward to first-time a shot into the left corner of the net from seven yards away.
The U.S. Men's National Team is in Group C at the 2010 FIFA World Cup with England, Slovenia and Algeria. After the England match, the USA will face Slovenia on June 18 in Johannesburg and Algeria on June 23 in Tshwane/Pretoria.
Match: International Friendly
Date: June 5, 2010
Venue: Ruimsig Stadium; Roodepoort, South Africa
Kickoff: 2:30 p.m. local (8:30 a.m. ET)
Weather: Fair, 66 degrees
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 2 1 3
AUS 1 0 1
USA – Edson Buddle 4th minute
AUS – Tim Cahill (Luke Wilkshire) 19
USA – Edson Buddle (Steve Cherundolo) 31
USA – Herculez Gomez (Landon Donovan) 90+3
USA: 1-Tim Howard (23-Marcus Hahnemann, 46); 6-Steve Cherundolo, 15-Jay DeMerit, 21-Clarence Goodson (5-Oguchi Onyewu, 61) , 3-Carlos Bocanegra (capt.) (12-Jonathan Bornstein, 55); 10-Landon Donovan, 13-Ricardo Clark, 4-Michael Bradley, 8-Clint Dempsey (9-Herculez Gomez, 82); 20-Robbie Findley, 14-Edson Buddle (7-DaMarcus Beasley, 78)
Subs not used: 18-Brad Guzan, 2-Jonathan Spector, 11-Stuart Holden, 16-José Torres, 17-Jozy Altidore, 19-Maurice Edu, 22-Benny Feilhaber
Head Coach: Bob Bradley
AUS: 1-Mark Schwarzer; 8-Luke Wilkshire, 2-Lucas Neill (capt.), 3-Craig Moore, 11-Scott Chipperfield; 19-Richard Garcia, 13-Vince Grella, 4-Tim Cahill (16-Carl Valeri, 46), 5-Jason Culina (22-Dario Vidosic, 61), 23-Mark Bresciano; 9-Josh Kennedy (17-Nikita Rukavytsya, 71)
Subs not used: 12-Adam Federici, 18-Brad Jones, 6-Michael Beauchamp, 7-Brett Emerton, 10-Harry Kewell, 14-Brett Holman, 15-Mile Jedniak, 20-Mark Milligan, 21-David Carney
Head Coach: Pim Verbeek
Stats Summary: USA / AUS
Shots: 11 / 14
Shots on Goal: 6 / 6
Saves: 5 / 3
Corner Kicks: 3 / 8
Fouls: 10 / 6
Offside: 4 / 0
USA – Clint Dempsey (caution) 37th minute
AUS – Craig Moore (caution) 37
AUS – Vince Grella (caution) 76
Referee: Addul Ebrahim (RSA)
Assistant Referee 1: Luyanda Somi (RSA)
Assistant Referee 2: Andrew Reezers (RSA)
Fourth Official: Daniel Bennett (RSA)
ussoccer.com Man of the Match: Steve Cherundolo