Playing their first match in South Florida since 2004, the U.S. Men's National Team gave Jurgen Klinsmann his first win as U.S. head coach as they won 1-0 over Honduras on a rainy Saturday at the Sun Life Stadium.
Playing on Saturday without their key players, Saturday's match was a comedy of errors as both squads missed their opportunities to produce numerous goals. The United States was missing Landon Donovan while Honduras was without Wilson Palacios.
Seeking his first win as U.S. head coach, Jurgen Klinsmann started Tim Howard; Steve Cherundolo, Michael Orozco Fiscal, Carlos Bocanegra (capt.), Timmy Chandler; Kyle Beckerman; Danny Williams, Maurice Edu, Brek Shea; Clint Dempsey, and Jozy Altidore.
Playing the 4-1-3-2 formation, the United States was matched against Donis Escobar; Osman Chavez, Maynor Figueroa (capt.), Jhonny Leveron, Jerry Bengston; Julio Cesar De Leon, Alfredo Mejia, Carlo Costly, Boniek Garcia; Mauricio Sabillion, and Roger Espinoza. Managed by Luis Suarez, Honduras played the 4-2-2 formation.
In the first 30 minutes of the match, both teams had their share of opportunities to produce a goal. Both teams managed to cancel the other team's attempt until Clint Dempsey scored a goal in the 36th minute. By accepting a pass from Orozco Fiscal who seconds earlier accepted a cross from Brek Shea, Dempsey was able beat his defender Mauricio Sabillion off the dribble before he blasted the ball with his left foot for the goal to give the United States a 1-0 lead.
Moments following the goal, Honduras tried to advance the ball with an aggressive push until the ball was intercepted. With tempers beginning to mount up Honduras Boniek Garcia was issued a yellow card for his card on Edu. In addition, Jozy Altidore was also given a yellow card as he was booked for dissent.
With Honduras unable to produce a game-tying goal, the first half ended with the United States leading 1-0. Despite the rainy weather, both teams made an effort to attack the opposing goalkeeper. In the first half, the United States had a 6-5 shot and 3-2 corner kick advantage. Despite a 3-2 shots on goal advantage, Honduras wasn't able to produce a goal.
In the second half, it was evident that weather played a huge factor. The United States tried to take a 2-0 lead when Danny Williams took a shot on goal only to have Donis Escobar block his shot in the 50th minute. A few minutes later, Honduras was able to beautifully advance the ball where Boniek Garcia took a shot on goal from the left side but Tim Howard was in position to make a save.
Following this sequence of missed opportunities, both the United States and Honduras continued this tragedy. In the 54th minute, Jozy Altidore beautifully passed the ball to teammate Brek Shea who wasn't covered and who have given the United States a 2-0 lead had he not overran the ball.
With opportunities to tie the match, Honduras missed consecutive opportunities in the 55th & 57 minutes of the match. Boniek Garcia misfired his shot just wide of the post followed by Jerry Bengston's header which sailed wide off the mark.
In an effort to take a 2-0 lead, Jozy Altidore misfired his his shot and in the 66th minute Oguchi Onyewu rebound of Escobar's blocked shot sailed past the crossbar. Following this sequence of plays, the Honduras wasn't able to capitalize of the U.S. misfortune as they continue to miss their equalizing attempts in the 73rd and 75th minutes.
In the 85 minute, it appeared Clint Dempsey has scored his second goal of the match as he hammered home his second goal of the match. Unfortunately for him and the fans who were watching, it was disallowed because of he was called for a foul on Maynor Figueroa.
For the remainder of the match, neither team was able to score a goal and the final was a 1-0 United States victory over Honduras. For Jurgen Klinsmann, this was his first of many wins as the Head Coach of the United States Men's National Team.
Following their match against Honduras, the United States will face Ecuador at Red Bull Arena on Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2011 at 7 p.m. ET. Fans will be able to watch Tuesday's International Friendly on ESPN 2, ESPN 3, and Univision.
Cesar Diaz covers Soccer for LatinoSports.com. He also writes for USSoccerPlayers.com; your source for American Soccer news brought to you by members of the U.S. National Team. Easily accessible, you may reach Cesar at firstname.lastname@example.org and at Twitter at @CoveringSoccer.