Substitute Bobby Wood was United States’ hero once again as he struck late to ensure a 2-1 victory over world champions Germany on Wednesday.
Wood was the matchwinner for Jurgen Klinsmann’s side in last week’s thrilling 4-3 victory over Netherlands and the Erzgebirge Aue striker came off the bench again to settle things at the RheinEnergieStadion in Cologne.
Prior to Wood making his claim for a starting berth at next month’s CONCACAF Gold Cup, Joachim Low’s World Cup winners were quick out of the blocks, gaining their reward after just 11 minutes when Mario Gotze slid home the opener.
Debutant Patrick Hermann will have no doubt impressed Low with his mazy run and assist during a dominant German first half.
Despite that, the US went in level at half-time thanks to Mix Diskerud’s well-taken equaliser following a quick break.
And Klinsmann’s side – who open their Gold Cup campaign against Honduras on July 7 – were rewarded for their second-half positivity when Wood curled home the winner from distance three minutes from time.
The US have one pre-tournament friendly to come against Guatemala, but Klinsmann’s men could not have asked for better preparations following victory over his home country.
For a lacklustre Germany, who appeared somewhat fatigued, a trip to Gibraltar and an almost-certain three-point haul in Euro 2016 qualifying awaits on Saturday.
As the hosts made a positive start, debutant Hermann saw his early cross evade Andre Schurrle before Mesut Ozil shot straight at Brad Guzan in the seventh minute.
Klinsmann’s side had their first sight of goal when Diskerud fired narrowly over from the edge of the area but Germany’s early dominance paid dividends.
Hermann was integral, jinking down the right before slipping the ball wide for Gotze to finish.
Germany continued to dominate possession prior to the half-hour mark and should have doubled their lead when Gotze found himself clean through on goal – the Bayern Munich man thwarted by Guzan.
Again, Hermann’s direct running helped create the opportunity but Germany were hit with a sucker-punch five minutes before the interval.
A sweeping break culminated in Michael Bradley finding Diskerud with a sweeping cross-field pass before the latter controlled with his chest and fired past the onrushing Ron-Robert Zieler.
Having ridden their luck at times in the first half, the US started the second brightly as a last-ditch challenge from Sebastian Rudy was required to keep Gyasi Zardes from getting a shot away on goal.
Despite struggling to get out of their own half, Germany should have been back in front when substitute Sami Khedira glanced a header wide from close range after the hour, with Jordan Morris almost making him pay with a curled effort round the post.
As the visitors threatened for much of the latter stages, Zieler twice frustrated Bradley before Wood struck a winner that seemed on the cards for much of the half.
Zieler was unable to keep the effort out and, while the US were almost denied when Khedira headed against the crossbar, Klinsmann’s side look set to arrive for their Gold Cup opener against Honduras with plenty of momentum.
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