USMNT throw away HT lead, lose 2-1 to Ireland
Following a 3-0 victory over Bolivia on Monday, the U.S. men’s national team experienced a massive step up in opposition Saturday at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, and suffered a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Ireland.
Bobby Wood put the USMNT ahead just before halftime, John O’Shea said goodbye after making his 118th and final appearance for his country, Graham Burke equalized just before the hour mark, and Alan Judge scored the deserved winner in the 90th minute.
Interim head coach Dave Sarachin’s side was fortunate to lead at the intermission, as the Irish were in full control from the opening whistle. From the attacking trio of Bobby Wood, Timothy Weah and Rubio Rubin, to the disorganized state of young center backs Matt Miazga and Cameron Carter-Vickers, positives were few and far between.
The Yanks’ miserable first half ended on the highest possible note, as Wood ended his own miserable 2017-18 campaign (two goals in 24 Bundesliga appearances for Hamburg, who were relegated) with a stoppage-time goal completely against the run of play. Wil Trapp floated a free kick into the box, Matt Miazga headed the ball back across the face of goal and Wood tapped it home with goalkeeper Colin Doyle rooted to his goal line.
The lead lasted less than 15 minutes into the second half, though, as Bill Hamid ran himself into a wall of bodies with a cross coming into the box from the left flank. When the 27-year-old Midtjylland ‘keeper got nowhere near claiming the ball, it fell to the top of the six-yard box, where it was hammered home for 1-1, credited to Burke for his deflection on the goal line.
Just 10 minutes later, the Boys in Green had the ball in the back of Hamid’s net once again, but Darragh Lenihan, who fired the ball goal-bound for Ireland’s equalizer, saw his headed goal wiped away when the assistant referee flagged the Blackburn Rovers center back offside.
From bad to worse in the game’s final moments, Miazga was roasted by James McClean and Judge fired past Hamid, off the underside of the crossbar, to complete the comeback.