U.S. MNT Closes out 2012 with 2-2 Draw Against Ninth-Ranked Russia, Ties Best Winning Percentage for Modern Era
- Mix Diskerud Scores First-Career Goal in Second-Half Stoppage Time; Michael Bradley Tallies 76th-Minute Equalizer for 11th Career Goal
- USA Finishes Year with 9-2-3 Record, .750 Winning Percentage to Match 2005 Modern Era Record
- U.S. Resumes 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying when Hexagonal Opens on Feb. 6, 2013, on Road Against Honduras
KRASNODAR, Russia (Nov. 14, 2012) – The U.S. Men’s National Team came from behind twice to earn a 2-2 draw against No. 9-ranked Russia in Wednesday’s international friendly match at Kuban Stadium.
Second-half substitute Mix Diskerud, playing in his third match with the U.S. senior team, scored the game-tying goal nearly three minutes into second-half stoppage time. Midfielder Michael Bradley also contributed a 76th-minute equalizer to tie the score at 1-1 and goalkeeper Tim Howard made six saves, several of the spectacular variety.
The USA finishes the 2012 campaign with a 9-2-3 record and a .750 winning percentage, which matches the all-time record for the top winning percentage of the modern era that was set in 2005 when the team went 13-3-4.
“We saw a very entertaining game,” said U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. “Russia proved why they are one of the best teams in Europe, and we wanted to see how good we are against such a strong team. The way our team fought back twice after being down a goal was great and it showed a lot of character. This is a young team, and a team that is growing. We are pleased with the game overall, and to score in the last minute was great.”
Diskerud’s game-tying goal came in the waning seconds of stoppage time after Michael Bradley sent a long ball toward the penalty area from just in front of the midfield line near the left sideline. Russia defender Sergei Ignashevich tried to clear, but his header bounced to the top of the penalty box where Diskerud struck a first-time shot that clipped a Russian defender and looped over the stranded goalkeeper into the net.
Russia has not allowed a goal during 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying.
Russia got on the board in just the ninth minute, making the USA pay for an early mistake when a Danny Williams short free kick was intercepted by Russia’s Alexander Kerzhakov, who rushed toward goal before dishing with the outside of his right foot to Fedor Smolov who was making a run into the right side of the penalty area. Smolov easily rolled his uncontested shot past Howard and inside the near post from 12 yards out for the 1-0 lead.
Smolov’s Russia senior team debut was short-lived as he was injured on the play and was soon replaced by Maxim Grigoriev in the 11th minute.
The U.S. overcame a short outing from central defender Carlos Bocanegra whose 110th career appearance came to an abrupt halt when he strained his left hamstring in the 15th minute. Clarence Goodson replaced the U.S. captain with Howard donning the armband.
Bradley’s equalizer, which came in the 76th minute, was a superb volley that showed both skill and power. Two second-half substitutes combined to create the goal as midfielder Maurice Edu chipped a pass to the forward line into Juan Agudelo who was making a run toward the top of the box. Agudelo headed the ball back to Bradley, who smashed his 20-yard volley off the lower part of the left post and in for his 11th career international goal and second of 2012.
Russia retook the lead in the 84th minute through a Roman Shirokov penalty kick. Goodson picked up a yellow card for fouling Russia’s Artem Dzyuba in the penalty box and Shirokov converted for a 2-1 lead.
Diskerud’s goal was the USA’s second stoppage-time score of the year. The other stoppage-time tally was Ricardo Clark’s 97th-minute goal to open 2012 with a 1-0 victory against Venezuela on Jan. 21.
The U.S. will now look ahead to the resumption of 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying when the Hexagonal kicks off Feb. 6, 2013, on the road against Honduras. The USA is competing to qualify for its seventh straight FIFA World Cup.
- Captain Carlos Bocanegra’s 110th career game on Wednesday moved him into a sixth-place tie on the all-time list with Paul Caligiuri, who had 110 appearances from 1984-98.
- Goalkeeper Tim Howard made his team-leading 12th start of 2012 and earned his 84th career cap.
- Midfielder Jermaine Jones and Howard led the USA with 12 appearances this year.
- The USA’s starting lineup against Russia marked the first time since June 19, 2011, the team put out a starting 11 that did not feature an MLS player. In the 2011 Gold Cup match against Jamaica – a 2-0 USA victory – the U.S. starting lineup featured non-MLS players Howard, Steve Cherundolo, Clarence Goodson, Bocanegra, Eric Lichaj, Michael Bradley, Jones, Alejandro Bedoya, Sacha Kljestan, Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore.
- Forward Joshua Gatt made his first-career start and appearance for the senior team with 62 minutes of work and a shot on goal early in the second half. The Development Academy alum played for the Michigan Wolves, now the Crew Soccer Academy Wolves.
- Gatt’s 63rd-minute sub was former New York Red Bulls Academy product Juan Agudelo, who made his first appearance of 2012.
- Defender Timmy Chandler made his first appearance for the U.S. this year and ninth career appearance. It was also Chandler’s first appearance since the USA’s 3-2 win against Slovenia on Nov. 15, 2011.
- The USA finished 2012 going 1-1-1 against teams ranked in the top 10, beating Italy, losing to Brazil and tying Russia.
-- U.S. Men’s National Team Game Report --
Match: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Russia
Date: Nov. 14, 2012
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Kuban Stadium; Krasnodar, Russia
Kickoff: 10 a.m. ET
Weather: 46 degrees, cloudy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 2 2
RUS 1 1 2
RUS – Fedor Smolov (Alexander Kerzhakov) 9th minute
USA – Michael Bradley (Juan Agudelo) 76
RUS – Roman Shirokov (penalty kick) 84
USA – Mix Diskerud 90+3
USA : 1-Tim Howard; 2-Timmy Chandler, 20-Geoff Cameron (6-Mix Diskerud, 87), 3-Carlos Bocanegra (capt.) (21-Clarence Goodson, 18), 23-Fabian Johnson; 14-Danny Williams (7-Maurice Edu, 73), 13-Jermaine Jones, 4-Michael Bradley; 11-Joshua Gatt (15-Juan Agudelo, 63), 17-Jozy Altidore (18-Terrence Boyd, 87), 9-Herculez Gomez (16-Sacha Kljestan, 65)
Subs not used: 22-Nick Rimando
Head Coach: Jurgen Klinsmann
RUS : 12-Vladimir Gabulov; 2-Aleksandr Anyukov (5-Renat Yanbaev, 59), 14-Vasily Berezutskiy, 4-Sergei Ignashevich, 22-Andrey Eshechenko, 15-Roman Shirokov, 7-Igor Denisov (capt.), 23-Dmitry Kombarov (10-Alan Dzagoev, 46), 25-Fedor Smolov (24-Maxim Grigoriev, 11) (26-Denis Cheryshev, 80), 9-Alexander Kokorin (17-Artem Dzyuba, 67), 11-Alexander Kerzhakov (8-Denis Glushakov, 46)
Subs not used: 3-Vladimir Granat,18-Vladimir Bystrov, 21-Magomed Ozdoyev, 1-Igor Akinfeev, 13-Alexander Belenov
Head coach: Fabio Capello
Stats Summary: USA / RUS
Shots: 11 / 16
Shots on Goal: 4 / 8
Saves: 6 / 2
Corner Kicks: 2 / 5
Fouls: 16 / 16
Offside: 2 / 5
USA – Michael Bradley (caution) 26th minute
RUS – Denis Glushakov (caution) 51
RUS – Alexander Kokorin (caution) 52
RUS – Roman Shirokov (caution) 77
USA – Clarence Goodson (caution) 84
USA – Sacha Kljestan (caution) 90+4
Referee: Nicola Rizzoli (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Andrea Stefani (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Riccardo Di Fiore (ITA)
Fourth Official: Vladimir Kazmenko (RUS)
Budweiser Man of the Match: