U.S. Men’s National Team Falls 2-0 to Ukraine in Cyprus

U.S. Soccer Federation
U.S. Soccer Federation
– Ukraine Tallies One Goal in Each Half to Hand USA its First Loss of 2014
– U.S. MNT Drops Two-Goal Decision for First Time Since Last Year’s World Cup Qualifier Against Costa Rica on Sept. 6

– Next up for MNT is USA-Mexico, Presented by AT&T, at 11 p.m. ET on April 2 in Glendale, Ariz. 

The U.S. Men’s National Team dropped a 2-0 decision against Ukraine at Antonis Papadopoulos Stadium. Andriy Yarmolenko and Marko Devic each scored a goal to hand the USA its first two-goal loss since falling 3-1 to Costa Rica in World Cup Qualifying on Sept. 6, 2013, at Estadio Nacional in San Jose, Costa Rica.

Highlights: MNT vs. Ukraine – March 5, 2014

The U.S. next faces Mexico on April 2 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. Kickoff for USA-Mexico, presented by AT&T, is set for 8 p.m. Arizona Time (11 p.m. ET) and will be broadcast live on ESPN2, WatchESPN, UniMas and ESPN Deportes Radio. Fans can also follow the U.S. MNT on Twitter @ussoccer.

Ukraine, the highest-ranked team (No. 18) not competing in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, challenged the USA defense from the start.

The U.S. fell behind early as Denys Garmash went unmarked when he received the ball in the offensive third. Despite the distance from U.S. defenders John Brooks and Edgar Castillo, Garmash could not finish his first attempt as Tim Howard dove to his left for the initial save. Garmash quickly got the rebound and dished to a wide-open Yarmolenko, whose left-footed tap-in goal gave Ukraine the 1-0 lead in the 12th minute.

The USA avoided a big scare and potential two-goal deficit, when Sacha Klejstan lost the ball to Yarmolenko in the midfield in the 32nd minute, leading to a breakaway chance for Artem Fedets’kiy. Instead of attacking one-on-one against Howard, Fedets’kiy held on to the ball, waited for additional help, and the U.S. was bailed out by a Ukraine offside call.

The U.S. started the second half with several close scoring chances in the opening 10 minutes. Alejandro Bedoya ripped a shot from the left side of the box, only to have it blocked by Fedets’kiy for a U.S. corner kick in the 49th minute. Two minutes later, Geoff Cameron crossed from the right side and connected with Jozy Altidore, whose header sailed over the crossbar. Then, Ukraine goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov made an errant pass in the 53rd minute that was intercepted by Bedoya, but when he tried to catch Pyatov off-guard, Bedoya bent the shot wide right.

Despite the USA’s improved attack, Ukraine struck against the run of play in the 68th minute. Second-half sub Devic, two minutes after he entered the match, made a run in between the U.S. defense and cut quickly to his left. Howard stayed low for a clutch save, but similar to the first goal, the USA allowed for a rebound as Devic slotted his second attempt into the back of the net for a 2-0 lead.

Second-half sub Aron Johannsson nearly got one back with a left-footed volley off of Bedoya’s corner kick in the 87th minute, but Oleh Gusiev blocked the crisp shot from the goal line to maintain Ukraine’s two-goal advantage.

Howard made five saves for the USA and Ukraine’s Pyatov had two saves for the clean sheet.

Additional Notes:

– The U.S. MNT is still winless against Ukraine, moving to 0-2-1 all-time in the series.

– The USA is now 28-11-7 under head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. Klinsmann is two wins away from matching Bora Milutinovic’s career wins total (30) for third on the all-time list.

– The U.S. moved to 6-3-1 with Clint Dempsey as the team captain.

– Dempsey earned his 102nd cap, the most among players on this current U.S. MNT roster. He is now tied with former goalkeeper Kasey Keller for 10th on the all-time list.

– Tim Howard earned his 97th-career cap and is now five games behind Keller’s goalkeeping record of 102 appearances for the U.S. MNT.

– Klinsmann’s starting back line featured Edgar Castillo, John Brooks, Oguchi Onyewu and Geoff Cameron from left to right.

– Onyewu made his first appearance and start since he captained the team during its 4-1 victory against Cuba on July 13, 2013, in Sandy, Utah. The win qualified for the USA for the quarterfinals of the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup

– Brooks earned his third-career cap, and he has started in every match he has played in during his young National Team tenure.

– Midfielders Sacha Klejstan and Jermaine Jones started alongside each other in Klinsmann’s 4-2-3-1 formation. In front of them were Fabian Johnson, Dempsey and Alejandro Bedoya, with Jozy Altidore up top.

– Klinsmann made two substitutions in the 63rd minute, bringing in forward Aron Johannsson for Sacha Klejstan and Brek Shea for Castillo. Johnson dropped down to the left back slot for the final half hour.

– Danny Williams replaced Jones in the 80th minute and forward Juan Agudelo entered the match for Altidore in the 85th minute.

– U.S. Men’s National Team Match Report –

Match: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Ukraine
March 5, 2014
International Friendly
Papadopoulos Stadium; Larnaca, Cyprus
2 p.m. ET
62 degrees, clear

Scoring Summary:  1 2 F
USA                         0 0 0
UKR                         1 1 2

UKR – Andriy Yarmolenko (Denys Garmash)  12th minute
UKR – Marko Devic (unassisted)                    60

USA: 1-Tim Howard; 20-Geoff Cameron, 5-Oguchi Onyewu, 3-John Brooks, 2-Edgar Castillo (21-Brek Shea, 63); 11-Alejandro Bedoya, 13-Jermaine Jones (14-Dani Williams, 80), 8-Clint Dempsey (capt.), 16-Sacha Kljestan (9-Aron Johannsson, 63), 23-Fabian Johnson;17-Jozy Altidore (19-Juan Agudelo, 85)
Subs Not Used: 4-Jonathan Spector, 6-Alfredo Morales, 12-Brad Guzan, 15-Will Packwood, 18-Terrence Boyd
Head coach: Jurgen Klinsmann

UKR: 12-Andriy Pyatov; 3-Yevhen Khachiridi, 4-Anatoliy Tymoschuk (capt.), 5-Olexander Kucher, 7-Andriy Yarmolenko; 8-Roman Zozulya (22-Marko Devic, 66), 10-Yevhen Konoplyanka, 13-Vyacheslav Shevchuk, 14-Ruslan Rotan (21-Edmar Halovskiy, 78); 17-Artem Fedetskiy, 19-Denys Garmash (15-Roman Bezus, 46)
Subs Not Used: 1-Denys Boyko, 2-Denys Dedechko, 9-Oleg Gusev, 11-Yevhen Seleznyov, 16- Serhiy Sydorchuk, 18- Mykola Morozyuk, 20- Yaroslav Rakitskiy, 23-Rustam Khudzhamov, 24- Eugene Makarenko, 25-Andriy Piliavskiy, 27-Dmytro Khomchenovskiy
Head Coach: Mykhailo Fomenko

Stats Summary: USA / UKR
Shots: 7 / 9
Shots on Goal: 3 / 6
Saves: 5 / 2
Corner Kicks: 5 / 5
Fouls: 6 / 9
Offside: 2 / 4

Misconduct Summary:
UKR – Artem Fedetskiy (caution)  65th minute
UKR – Roman Bezus (caution)     84

Referee: Leontios Trattou (CYP)
Assistant Referee 1: Michael Soteriou (CYP)
Assistant Referee 2: Athinodoros Ioannou (CYP)
Fourth Official: Ioannis Anastasiou (CYP)

Budweiser Man of the Match: Tim Howard

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