U.S. Men's National Team Falls 1-0 to Ecuador
- Goal in 79th Minute from Substitute Jaime Ayovi is the Game-Winner
- Two November Friendlies in Europe Will be Announced Soon
HARRISON, N.J. (Oct. 11, 2011) – The U.S. Men’s National Team fell 1-0 to Ecuador in its second match in three days, falling victim to a defensive lapse in the 79th minute that resulted in a diving header goal from substitute forward Jaime Ayovi.
Jurgen Klinsmann made only one change to the starting lineup that defeated Honduras 1-0 on Oct. 8 in Miami, inserting Oguchi Onyewu in place of Michael Orozco Fiscal. The Sporting Lisbon defender had a fine game, plugging up the middle and even contributed a bit on the offensive end.
Both countries were coming off wins this past weekend as Ecuador defeated Venezuela 2-0 to start its 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign, while the USA defeated Honduras 1-0 on a rain-drenched Saturday night in Miami, Fla.
"The team tried really hard to do what we asked them to do," said U.S. Men's National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. "We asked them to step it up another notch after the Honduras game and I think they did that. I think we played a brilliant first half and created a lot of chances. We didn't score but we didn't allow anything for Ecuador at all. We had to make some changes and we also wanted to give players the possibilities to express themselves and show themselves. Ecuador in the second half got more into the game. They created some chances but never really threatened Tim Howard besides the one beautiful goal they scored."
Up next for the U.S. MNT will be a pair of friendlies scheduled from Nov. 11-15 on FIFA’s international calendar. The two matches will be played in Europe and will be announced in the near future. U.S. captain Carlos Bocanegra earned his 98th cap tonight and could hit the historic 100-cap mark should he play in both November friendlies.
Tim Howard came out of his goal in the second minute to fly through the penalty box and punch away a bouncing ball, but it was a routine play for the U.S. net-minder who otherwise was not severely tested outside of Ecuador’s goal. The U.S. defense did a fine job of limiting the Ecuadorian attackers from getting into dangerous spots and in the end the South Americans had just four shots on goal as the USA won the shot count 22-9.
It was the USA that started this match on a roll, firing five shots in the first 10 minutes. Just seconds into the game, Jozy Altidore got a sliver of space in the left side of the penalty box after running under a long pass and smacked a left-footed shot from a sharp angle that Ecuadorian goalkeeper Maximo Banguera had to parry away.
In the fifth minute, right midfielder Danny Williams, playing in just his second match for the United States, made a dynamic run into the middle of the pitch, touching the ball around a defender and then playing Brek Shea on the left wing. The young U.S. midfielder had a go with his left foot and crushed a drive to the near post that Banguera once again had to push away.
The organized and hard-working U.S. team defense kept the pacey Ecuadorians from creating any real danger in the first half, outside of Edison Mendez blazing down the left wing in the 12th minute, but his cross through the goal mouth found no one crashing.
The USA created one more scoring opportunity just before halftime as Clint Dempsey lashed a half-volley over the bar from 30 yards in the 42nd minute. Outside of several nice passing combinations that didn’t lead to shots, the USA didn’t create any heart-stopping chances after the first 10 minutes.
Klinsmann made four changes at halftime, bringing on Jonathan Spector for veteran Steve Cherundolo at right back, Michael Bradley for Maurice Edu in the central midfield, DaMarcus Beasley for Shea on the left wing and Juan Agudelo for Altidore up top.
The Ecuadorians showed a bit more activity in their attacking third in the second half, and in the 53rd minute Christian Benitez tried to shake free deep in the left side near the left post, but his cross was blocked and Howard pounced on the ball.
In the 60th minute, Ecuador began a few minutes of sustained pressure that resulted in two straight corner kicks and ended in Jefferson Montero firing a dangerous-looking shot through traffic from left side of box that flew just past right post.
Beasley, who looked spry on the left flank after coming on at halftime, fired from the top of box in the 68th minute but his screamer plowed into the gloves of Banguera.
In the 74th minute, Timmy Chandler raced powerfully up the left wing on a counter attack and was taken down for a free kick. Bradley bent it in and substitute Edson Buddle had intentions for it, but the ball was cleared away for a corner kick. The ensuing serve bounced around at the top of the box before somehow ending on the foot of Onyewu, who fired high over the goal on the slide.
Ecuador’s goal came in the 79th minute off a seemingly innocuous throw-in from the left wing. The ball was played back to team captain Walter Ayovi on the sideline and crossed into the middle where his cousin Jaime Ayovi stepped in front of substitute Tim Ream to send a diving header just past Howard and into the right side of the net from eight yards away.
The USA pushed for an equalizer in the last 10 minutes of regulation and four minutes of stoppage time, but really had just two good looks at goal. In the 81st minute, Spector got a foot on a corner kick from the right side and sent a hard shot to near post, but Banguera was right there to make the save.
In the 93rd minute, Onyewu, who went up front in the last part of the game, battled to dig out a ball and played it to Dempsey who was running into the right side of the penalty area. Dempsey hit his shot well, but it was deflected into the right side netting by a sliding defender.
-- U.S. Men’s National Team Game Report --
Match: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Ecuador
Date: Oct. 11, 2011
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Red Bull Arena; Harrison, N.J.
Kickoff: 7:15 p.m. ET
Weather: 65 degrees, clear
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 0 0
Ecuador 0 1 1
ECU – Jaime Ayovi (Walter Ayovi) 79th minute
USA: 1-Tim Howard; 2-Steve Cherundolo (13-Jonathan Spector, 46), 4-Oguchi Onyewu, 5-Carlos Bocanegra (capt.) (14-Tim Ream, 72), 3-Timmy Chandler; 6-Kyle Beckerman; 7-Danny Williams (17-Edson Buddle, 65), 8-Maurice Edu (15-Michael Bradley, 46), 11-Brek Shea (16-DaMarcus Beasley, 46); 10-Clint Dempsey, 9-Jozy Altidore (18-Juan Agudelo, 46)
Subs Not Used: 12-Nick Rimando
Head coach: Jurgen Klinsmann
ECU: 1-Maximo Banguera; 2-Eduardo Morante, 3-Fricson Erazo, 18-Gabriel Achilier, 10-Walter Ayovi; 16-Antonio Valencia (13-Cristian Suarez, 63), 8-Edison Mendez (19-Luis Saritama, 69), 14-Segundo Castillo, 9-Jefferson Montero (17-Jaime Ayovi, 60); 11-Christian Benitez (15-Jairo Campos, 90), 7-Michael Arroyo (4-Juan Carlos Paredes, 86)
Subs not used: 6-Michael Quiñonez, 12-Adrian Bone
Head coach: Reinaldo Rueda
Stats Summary: USA / ECU
Shots: 22 / 9
Shots on Goal: 8 / 4
Saves: 3 / 8
Corner Kicks: 10 / 5
Fouls: 12 / 19
Offside: 2 / 4
USA – Carlos Bocanegra (caution) 62nd minute
ECU – Luis Saritama (caution) 87
ECU – Jaime Ayovi (caution) 88
Referee: Joel Aguilar (El Salvador)
Assistant Referee 1: William Torres (El Salvador)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Zumba (El Salvador)
Fourth Official: Terry Vaughn (USA)
Budweiser Man of the Match: Timmy Chandler