The USMNT snapped its disappointing five-game winless streak with a 2-0 victory over Panama at StubHub Center on Sunday, giving Jurgen Klinsmann’s USMNT just its second victory since the 2014 World Cup with their match against Ghana.
The first chance of the match was given to Panama in the 14th minute, as Eric Davis got behind the USMNT defense and squared himself up with Nick Rimando, but the American goalkeeper made himself big and made the save.
Panama nearly scored with a great chance of their own as Blas Perez got onto the end of a through ball 10 yards from goal, but Brek Shea was quick to dive in and block Perez’s shot.
Michael Bradley put the Yanks on top with an Olympic goal in the 27th minute. The Toronto FC midfielder delivered a corner kick from the left side of attack, and his shot floated and floated toward the back post, going past the heads of defenders and attackers, and nestling itself into the top corner for the game’s opening goal.
Clint Dempsey then later doubled their lead in the 37th minute as Gyasi Zardes made a surging run through the heart of midfield, slipped a perfect through ball to Dempsey as he split the Panamanian defense. Dempsey’s first and second touches were a tricky piece of footwork to go past the defender and the goalkeeper, and roll the ball over the goal line.
As the game opened up a bit, the USMNT counter-attack came to the forefront as Bradley nearly bagged a brace in the 43rd minute. Atidore made a driving run with the ball down the left wing, crossed to Zardes at the top of the penalty area who later chested the ball down and into the path of the late-arriving Bradley who took a powerful shot on the half-volley. However, the shot stayed low and Penedo did well to trap and save the shot.
The game’s second half provided a pace familiar to that of the first half, but was seriously lacking in terms of quality, connection of passes and chances created, however that is how it stood after 90 minutes and the USMNT got their first win of 2015.
The USMNT now takes a break until March 25 when they begin their European tour against Denmark and March 31 against Denmark as many players return to their MLS clubs for preseason and the start of the 2015 season.