Wood scores late to give US a 2-1 win over Germany
COLOGNE, Germany (AP) — Substitute Bobby Wood scored in the 87th minute to give the United States a 2-1 victory over World Cup champion Germany in a friendly on Wednesday.
Wood drilled a low shot inside the post to cap a good second half performance in which the Americans missed several clear chances. Wood has also scored a 90th-minute winner in the United States’ 4-3 victory over the Netherlands in another friendly on Friday.
The Americans equalized through Mix Diskerud late in the first half to cancel out Mario Goetze’s goal for the hosts in the 12th minute.
Wood’s strike gave U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann a winning return to his homeland and the United States its first win on German soil. Klinsmann, who sang both national anthems before kickoff, led Germany to the 1990 World Cup title as a player and coached it to third place in 2006.
“Bobby is a work in progress,” Klinsmann said of the striker whose German club team Erzgebirge Auehas has been relegated to the third division.
“An entertaining game with a happy ending with us,” Klinsmann said. “To win against the world champion in Germany is something special, but we deserved it. It’s an important step toward the Gold Cup.”
Klinsmann said his players “had a lot of respect” for Germany but “the team realized after 20, 25 minutes that there was a whole game to play.”
Germany, which rested several of its first-choice players, lost some of its pace after the break as a series of substitutions disrupted its rhythm.
Klinsmann praised the work of substitute Kyle Beckerman, who started the second half.
“Beckerman calmed down things defensively. He is doing the dirty work and makes us look better,” Klinsmann said. “In the second half we closed down the passing lanes and we turned the momentum.”
Klinsmann also praised captain Michael Bradley “as the best man on the pitch.”
Germany coach Joachim Loew, who began as Klinsmann’s assistant with Germany in 2004, said he was very pleased with how his team played in the first half.
“But we should have scored a second. We lost pace through a lot of substitutions in the second half. The result is frustrating, but we can live with that,” Loew said. “The Americans have improved a lot over the past couple of years.”
The Germans got off to a better start and grabbed the early lead when Shkodran Mustafi sent Patrick Herrmann racing. Herrmann, making his Germany debut, left three defenders behind and set up Goetze to slot the ball inside the far post.
U.S. goalkeeper Brad Guzan made a point-blank save from Goetze, who later set up Andre Schuerrle for a weak header that Guzan was able to collect.
The Americans equalized in the 41st minute when Bradley sent a long diagonal pass to Diskerud, who chested the ball a step ahead of defender Sebastian Rudy and sent a right-foot shot past goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler.
Gyasi Zardes then sent an effort high as the Americans pushed forward, while Herrmann shot wide at the other end.
Diskerud set up Zardes for a scoring chance early in the second half, but Rudy made a last-ditch sliding save.
Jordan Morris, barely into the match, narrowly missed the target with the outside of his foot in the 75th, while Bradley’s dangerous corner was punched out by Zieler in the 81st.
Zieler also made another excellent save when he blocked Bradley’s shot with his foot, before Wood scored the winner.
The last chance of the match went to Germany, but Sami Khedira’s header bounced off the crossbar.
The U.S. is preparing for next month’s CONCACAF Gold Cup, while Germany plays a European Championship qualifier against Gibraltar on Saturday.