The United States traveled to Dublin Ireland with hopes of ending the year on a strong result after their rude awakening they experienced with Colombia last Friday. Prior to this match the Stars and Stripes have traveled to Dublin on four separate occasions and each time they were defeated by Ireland. Tuesday evening's match would not be different from the other four occasions. The trendiest issue coming from the USMNT is one that has always haunted them, the start of each half.
The first goal of the game came in the seventh minute on a counterattack. Ireland debutant David McGoldrick beautifully placed a pass into the on running Anthony Pilkington who made it 1-0 to the hosts. Team USA woke up collectively after the opening goal by Ireland. Klinsmann's side equalized on the 39th minute after a interesting build up that found Wondo in the box who headed the ball into the path of Diskerud who tied the match from close range. The halftime whistle echoed around Aviva Stadium and each side went to their locker rooms at 1-1.
Martin O'Neill's side had a lot of questions going into this match since every single player who played in Ireland's 0-1 lost to Scotland were not present. The Irish looked strong in that first half and many have dubbed this to be Martin O'Neill's "B" team. This "B" team would soon make their names heard in Dublin and to head coach Martin O’Neill.
The second half would begin much like how the first half began, ten minutes after the restart Robert Brady would capitalize off a defensive mistake to give the lead back to Ireland. After a poor defensive clearance by Fabian Johnson, David McGoldrick again assisted Robbie Brady to make it 2-1. The entire second half Jurgen's side found it hard to break into another gear to bring the game back level.
The USMNT did in fact put pressure on their hosts on several occasions before Ireland began to break away. Jordan Morris fed Greg Garza who came on for Alfredo Morales, inside the Ireland penalty box. Garza whipped in a shot, which was saved by Shay Given on the 81st minute for a corner kick for USA. This is the point which history repeated itself in football.
After the USA’s attempt on said corner kick, Ireland substitute Shane Long was able to exploit his speed on the left wing. Shane Long was able to whip a shot on target that hit the post, immediately after James McClean would fire Ireland to a 3-1 lead. The third goal was a rather unfortunate goal to let in as well for the USMNT as they looked to pry themselves back into the match. The goal took a nasty deflection off of Cameron and past Bill Hamid. Ireland would make it 4-1 in the 86th minute after a superb free kick and second for Robert Brady.
In retrospect the US Men’s National Team did in fact perform poorly on the road in Dublin Ireland. One thing Jurgen can take to heart in this match was the attacking threat both Alejandro Bedoya and Fabian Johnson pose when they play on the right side for team USA. Klinsmann also probably took note that his side was without Clint Dempsey and Omar Gonzalez. Both players are important for the Stars and Stripes but with the lineup being somewhat new in regards to some personnel in the midfield and defense. The attacking lineup was one of “top” quality with Jozy Altidore and Chris Wondolowski leading the forward line.
Martin O’Neill definitely looked the genius on Tuesday evening as many critiqued him as being very disrespectful to the USMNT with 11 changes to the match. All 11 changes was evidently the correct decision as Ireland looked stronger on all parts of the field and match.