Getting a goal off a corner kick can be among the biggest tests of physical strength in soccer. With so many players so tightly packed into such a small area, the headers that go into the back of the net usually come after locomotive runs into the box, or at the very least a well-timed leap above opposing defenders.
Aron Jóhannsson needed none of that to score on Tuesday night. In fact, Jóhannsson didn't even need to leave his feet to redirect a Brad Davis corner kick past Azerbaijan goalkeeper Kamran Aghayev in the 81st minute, the last of the USA's two goals on the night.
How did he get so open? "You'd have to ask the Azerbaijan defense about that," Jóhannsson quipped post-match with a wry smile. "I found some space there, I went to it, and it was a perfect ball from Brad Davis."
Davis' service came despite the notoriously strong winds at Candlestick – something which affected play from both teams throughout the match. For Davis, getting the service right was simply a matter of adjustment.
"Everybody was starting to crowd the goalie a little bit, I just wanted to pull it away from that," Davis said. "I just had to make an adjustment after the first few…luckily we connected."
- Alex Abnos