A pair of set pieces put Brazil up 1-0 over the USMNT in their international friendly at FedEx Field in Maryland. The first came as a result of penalty given when Oguchi Onyewu was charged with handling the ball in the box. Budding superstar Neymar converted the spot kick for the first goal of the game.
US fans will likely complain a bit about the penalty, given that it was a case more of the ball playing the arm rather than the other way around… however, Gooch’s arm was up, which is going to make it much more likely to be called. Refs will usually let a handball in the box if the defender keeps his arms at his sides, but Gooch did not do that here.
The second Brazil goal came on yet another set piece, when defender Thiago Silva was left alone to nod in a corner kick in the 26th minute.
The US would fight back in the dying moments of the first half. Fabian Johnson, who was arguably the USMNT’s best player in the half, played the ball across the net to Herculez Gomez, who headed in to cut Brazil’s lead in half.
Overall, it was quite clear that the US was second best and to be frank, the 2-1 score flatters them. If the Nats don’t improve in the second half, the several chances Brazil wasted in the first half are likely to start bulging the net in the second.
There are reinforcements on the way, with Clint Dempsey warming up and likely to come on in the second half. Dempsey is coming off a breakout season in which he scored 17 goals in the English Premier League for Fulham. It will be the first time in the Jurgen Klinsmann era that Dempsey will have played with the other US talisman, Landon Donovan.