The US men’s national team (USMNT) beat Uzbekistan 3-0 in an international friendly on Saturday evening at City Park in St Louis.
Despite the scoreline, the USMNT flattered to deceive and put in a drab performance in head coach Gregg Berhalter’s return at the helm.
Weah gives USA the lead
Tim Weah put the hosts ahead early in the 3rd minute before Ricardo Pepi and Christian Pulisic scored deep into stoppage time to give victory for the hosts.
However, they created few opportunities and the visitors looked more likely to score. Goalkeeper Matt Turner produced several quality saves throughout the ninety minutes and was arguably the standout performer.
A fast start saw Weston McKennie finding his club teammate Weah with a darting run before the winger placed his effort in the far corner to give his side the lead.
Folarin Balogun almost made it 2-0 in the 16th minute but struck the post as the Uzbeks survived.
Uzbeks miss chances
The visitors should have restored parity just on the stroke of halftime but Uzbek captain Eldor Shomurodov failed to beat Turner one-on-one after getting on the end of a poor back pass from Tim Ream.
Despite having the lion’s share of possession in the second half, Berhalter’s side hardly created any clear-cut openings.
Brenden Aaronson, who sparkled after coming on, released Pepi through on goal in the first half of stoppage time and the latter doubled his side’s lead with a deft finish.
Just minutes later after Malik Tillman was brought down in the box, Pulisic stepped up to make it 3-0 on the night.
The 11th-ranked USMNT host Oman on Tuesday at St Paul, Minnesota. Uzbekistan, meanwhile, will start their World Cup qualification in November.
It remains to be seen how Berhalter improves his side after his return. A more convincing and decisive performance was expected against the 74th-ranked opposition and if performance doesn’t improve against Oman, expect some changes in the squad going forward.
Photo credit: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire
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