Washington, DC – Julian Green’s goal in the 27th minute had the US Men’s National Team out in front of New Zealand 1-0 at the half at RFK Stadium in Washington, DC. However, the National Team would concede a goal in the second half. USMNT had, 5 shots on goal in the 2nd half all being defended by New Zealand’s goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic to end the match in a 1-1 draw.
New Zealand started out hot, pressing the US early in the match for most of the first 10 minutes. However, it seemed every time they got a ball inside the box; there was no one there to finish the job, and the US was easily able to clear all the threats. Even in the 11th minute, when Kip Colvey was able to send in two passes inside the box, and none of the New Zealand attackers could connect with the ball.
After those dominate first ten minutes from New Zealand, it looked like things started to click for the USA. In the 16th minute, Jozy Altidore tried his luck from the top of the box with a shot that was easily defended by New Zealand.
Then in the 27th minute, after multiple failed crosses and attacking pressure from the US, it happened. Forward Julian Green ripped one from outside the top left side of the 18-yard line, and it found its way past New Zealand keeper Stefan Marinovic to put the US on top 1-0.
The US continued to apply pressure on the attacking front for most of the rest of the 1st half. However, New Zealand was able to get a couple of late chances before the half, but none were able to find their way past the US defense.
USA led possession at the half 62-38, with both teams tied at 4 shot attempts. The difference being the US had 3 shots on target compared to just one from New Zealand. There were no cards in the first half, and the US led the foul tally with 12 compared to the 9 from New Zealand.
Both teams came out aggressively in the second half, with multiple free kicks being awarded to each team, but still no cards had been shown. In addition, despite the aggressive attack didn’t bring any shot attempts up through the 55th minute.
Then in the 57th minute, New Zealand was awarded a free kick from about 35 yards outside taken by Chris Wood, the ball sailed over the net. The pressure from New Zealand didn’t stop there, however, as in the 60th minute Monty Peterson for New Zealand was able to get a good look as he found his way inside the box but sailed it over as well.
In the 69th minute, Jozy Altidore was able to get just the 2nd shot in the second half for the USA. However, he was unable to get any leg on it as it was easily picked up by New Zealand’s keeper. The pressure by the US continued, as the US was able to get another shot attempt off, before gaining a corner that had potential but was cleared by the New Zealand defense. Then things turned quickly.
New Zealand was able to get pressure on the USA defense before being awarded a corner in the 72nd minute. That’s when Michael McGlinchley sent the corner into the box, where it found Michael Boxall who tapped the ball to Monty Patterson, who then squeaked it just past the left side of USA’s keeper Yarbrough for the equalizer.
Shortly after the equalizer, we saw our first card of the match, which was awarded to New Zealand’s Monty Patterson in yellow. Then in the 86th, just 2 minutes after the first, we saw our second yellow of the match, given to Altidore for USA.
Right after the card, New Zealand was able to get pressure inside the box and get a ball past Yarbrough, but Orozco was there for the defense and cleared out a sure goal just before it was about to find its way into the net.
USA would get another chance to regain the lead in the 89th minute, as Danny Williams great ball movement found him splitting defenders all the way down the field, just outside the box before he let one rip but was saved by a brilliant soaring dive from Marinovic for New Zealand to keep the match tied.
“As soon as the ball left my foot, I thought it would have gone in as well. I think the goalkeeper saw it late, but I thought it was a great save from him. Then I thought, hey I’ll score the rebound, but them they threw all the bodies in there and unfortunately it didn’t go in.” said Williams of the shot after the match.
Then shortly thereafter, Michael Bradley got in on the action with a one-timer from outside of the box, which Marinovic was again able to save.
The final attempt from the USA came on a service from Gooch inside the box, which bounced off two USA defenders heads and out of bounds just before the ref blew the final whistle, ending the match in a 1-1 draw.
In the end, the final onslaught from USA gave them the advantage in the shot total with 16 overall, compared to New Zealand’s 12. Of those 16 shots for USA, 9 of them were on goal, with 8 being saved by the brick wall that is Marinovic, New Zealand’s keeper. The United States also won possession at 58-42.
Despite the stats being in favor of the US, New Zealand head coach Anthony Hudson still felt that his team won the match and should have won the result, “I have, to be honest; I thought that after I watched the Mexico game. But I thought both games, I thought we were unlucky not to get a draw against Mexico, I thought we were the better team, I really do. If you see the game we were the stronger team, we certainly finished stronger. We had plenty of chances on goal, and I thought the same tonight.”
USA now has a month off before they face off against Mexico as they start “The Hex,” the final stage of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. That match will be played in Columbus, Ohio on November 11th and has already been sold out.