Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Yanks and Three Lions fall

A pretty weak effort from the Yanks tonight in Sweden. A few players such as Kamani Hill and Jay DeMerit had decent form but overall "a mediocre performance" as Donovan Beasley stated.
A strike by Kim Kallstrom in the 56th minute gave Sweden a 1-0 result over the US Men's National Team in a friendly at Ullevi Stadium in Goteborg, Sweden on Wednesday.

The score marked the end of what had been a first-half power struggle on a clear Scandinavian night.

In the first half, things got off to a shaky start for the predominantly European-based squad when a Michael Bradley mishap gave Sweden's Kennedy Bakircioglu space and options in the second minute. Bakircioglu found Zlatan Ibrahimovic on a centering ball but the Inter Milan striker went wide with it.

The Americans quickly returned the favor on a great chance for DaMarcus Beasley in the third minute. Landon Donovan took a creative pass from Clint Dempsey and played it flat to Beasley who, alone, went wide left.

"The contact was there but it was just the wrong side of the post," Beasley told reporters after the match. "I should have scored. I thought it was going in."

Beasley's miss seemed to leave him a bit shell-shocked in the following moments.
DeMerit looked to be the best Yank when he came on late; it's about time for him to get more minutes. Most supporter seems to be curious to have seen how Jozy Altidore might have fared against Sweden; hopefully that day will come soon. Also worth noting was the debut of Sal Zizzo.

Struggling with their fitness England looked like and fared as well as their 1998 World Cup team, with Owen & Beckham playing together. Kevin Kuranyi and the Germans got a gift equalizer from the shaky Paul Robison. Cristian Pander put the Germans ahead with a marvelous blast that Robinson was helpless to stop.
Frank Lampard's early goal was not enough as Germany came from behind to beat England 2-1 at Wembley and heap more pressure on Steve McClaren. There was not a penalty in sight but Paul Robinson's howler ensured England still experienced that familiar sinking feeling against their old rivals.

Lampard's first international goal for 12 months had raised hopes of a rare home win against the old enemy.

Unfortunately, on a night of experimentation and preparation, the positives gained from an encouraging performance which deserved better than the eventual result, will be overshadowed by Robinson's woes.

The Tottenham man gifted Kevin Kuranyi Germany's equaliser with a miserable mistake and nothing during his 45-minute appearance suggested anything other than that his replacement, veteran David James, should be installed when Israel head to Wembley on September 8 for a game coach Steve McClaren has already described as "must-win" if England are to reach Euro 2008.

The goalkeeping conundrum will occupy McClaren's mind for most of the next 17 days, although there was little Robinson could have done to keep out the sweet strike from Christian Pander which ultimately gave Germany their win.
The aforementioned Pander goal:

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