The USA came back from a 1-0 half time deficit to get a 1-1 draw with Argentina at the New Meadowlands Stadium in New Jersey, with Esteban Cambiasso’s opener cancelled out by American youngster Juan Agudelo.
As you would expect Argentina had the bulk of the possession in the early exchanges and played some neat passing combinations, with all eyes on mercurial Lionel Messi, who started up front with Napoli’s Ezequiel Lavezzi. Real Madrid’s Angel Di Maria had the first chance of the game on seven minutes, testing Tim Howard with a low shot which the American keeper saved. Lavezzi fired a shot wide soon after, and Argentina created a number of half chances without really testing Howard.
America had a great chance of their own, with good work from Landon Donovan resulting in a shot from Fulham’s Clint Dempsey, but the attacker’s effort was saved by visiting goalkeeper Mariano Andujar. However the Albiceleste took the lead on 41 minutes, as neat interplay and a Di Maria saved shot gave Inter midfielder Cambiasso the chance to fire home from close range, and the game went into the interval 1-0 to Argentina.
Tim Howard started the second half as he had finished the first and was busy, making a save from Messi and watching a Di Maria header fly over the bar. After these two early chances however, Bob Bradley’s men came back into the tie and looked to attack with numbers. On 59 minutes the home side got their goal, through 18 year old substitute striker Agudelo. The New York Red Bulls attacker finished from close range after Andujar had saved a Carlos Bocanegra header. The Colombian born attacker has now scored two goals in three appearances in an impressive start to his international career.
Agudelo had a chance to get a second on 71 minutes but his header flew over the bar. Both sides looked to attack and get a winner but it was elusive and the game finished all square. The international friendlies continue on Tuesday with America playing Paraguay, and Sergio Batista’s men taking on Costa Rica; the matches are in preparation for the Copa America, which starts in three months time.