Tuesday, June 18, 2013

USA 1, Honduras 0


The US national team made 20,250 fans sweat on a hot Tuesday evening at Rio Tinto Stadium, but in the end, they got the job done in a 1-0 victory over an undermanned but surprisingly game Honduran side.
Jozy Altidore snapped a scoreless deadlock in the 73rd minute with his fourth goal in as many games, rescuing the US from a languid offensive showing and sending the Americans to their third win in as many World Cup qualifiers.
And with the victory, the USMNT remain on top of the CONCACAF Hexagonal with 13 points through six games and are on the cusp of qualifying for Brazil 2014.
The final result was far from certain. Despite their opponents missing as many as five starters, the Americans came out flat and lacking the attacking verve they showed in their previous two matches against Panama and Jamaica. Though they had most of the possession, there were few opportunities to break through.
The US had a couple decent looks in the early going but couldn’t find that final ball. Fabian Johnson’s threatening cross was swallowed by Honduras ’keeper Noel Valladares seven minutes in, while Eddie Johnson couldn’t finish off some nice combination play 10 minutes later.
Former Sporting KC midfielder Roger Espinoza in particular was active in blowing holes through the US passing lanes, but he didn’t need much help. Center backs Omar Gonzalez and Matt Besler, in their sixth start as a tandem, got off to a shakier start than they had in any of their previous run-outs together – both made ill-timed giveaways that were nearly punished by the Catrachos.
Gonzalez coughed it up to Espinoza in the 10th minute, and the Wigan Athletic man was in on goal alone until Jermaine Jones tackled him from behind. Meanwhile, former D.C. United Homegrown Andy Najar – making his first start in World Cup qualifying – picked Besler’s pocket in the 45th minute and charged in on goal to put a low, dipping shot on goal that called Tim Howard into action.
The US had a good case for a penalty kick in the 63rd minute during a goalmouth scramble. After the ball ping-ponged in the box, Clint Dempsey put a header on goal that deflected off Wilson Palacios’ hand, but head official Enrico Wijngaarde didn’t blow the whistle.
That seemed to spark the US attack to life, however, as Dempsey had a rip on goal four minutes later that sailed over the bar. In the 70th minute, Dempsey’s header was punched out by Valladares and fell to Michael Bradley, who ripped one right back at the veteran ’keeper.
Three minutes later, the Americans’ patience was rewarded off some beautiful combination play. Off a pass from Dempsey, Graham Zusi sent a cheeky ball to the left side of the box to Fabian Johnson. The Hoffenheim man took one touch to center it to Altidore, who one-timed it to the far post past Valladares for the winning strike that sent the crowd into chants of "We are going to Brazil."
Jurgen Klinsmann went with a familiar lineup, slotting Jones back into central midfield as expected, forcing Geoff Cameron to the bench. With right winger Zusi back after his suspension, the US manager opted to flip Eddie Johnson over to the opposite side, pushing Fabian Johnson to left back in DaMarcus Beasley’s absence due to card accumulation.
Honduras manager Luis Fernando Suárez was forced to make wholesale changes to his lineup. With hobbled Houston Dynamo star Boniek García on the bench, Najar slotted into right wing, joining Seattle Sounders winger Mario Martínez and Espinoza in a five-man midfield with heavy MLS flavor.
Former Dynamo striker Carlo Costly was alone up top in Suárez’s 4-5-1. José Velásquez, meanwhile, took the place of suspended San Jose Earthquakes enforcer Víctor Bernárdez in central defense.
The senior US side now gets a two-and-a-half-month break before World Cup qualifying resumes, with the next match at Costa Rica on Sept. 6. Klinsmann’s “B” side will begin gathering in San Diego in two weeks in preparation for next month’s CONCACAF Gold Cup.

BoBA 2013 ISML Predictions: Ruby Match Day 5

ARENA 01: [Shiina Mashiro] Araragi Karen by >=1000
Over/Under: 8000
Over

ARENA 02: Akemi Homura [Kirigaya Suguha] by >=1000
Over/Under: 8000
Over

ARENA 03: [Yuzuriha Inori] Konoe Subaru by >=1000
Over/Under: 8000
Over

ARENA 04: [Ayano Keiko (Silica)] Araragi Tsukihi by >=1000
Over/Under: 8000
Over

ARENA 05: Misaki Mei [Takanashi Rikka] by >=1000
Over/Under: 8000
Over


ARENA 06: Nōmi Kudryavka [Honma Meiko] by <=1000
Over/Under: 8000
Over

ARENA 07: Sanka Rea [Kashiwazaki Sena] by >=1000
Over/Under: 8000
Over

ARENA 08: Yūki Mikan [Makise Kurisu] by >=1000
Over/Under: 8000
Over

ARENA 09: [Aoyama Nanami] Roromiya Karuta by >=1000
Over/Under: 8000
Over

ARENA 10: [Takanashi Tōka] Kanzaki H. Aria by >=1000
Over/Under: 8000
Over

ARENA 11: [Kuroyukihime] Nyarlathotep by >=1500
Over/Under: 8000
Over

ARENA 12: [Natsume Rin] Tōwa Erio by <=1000
Over/Under: 8000
Over

ARENA 13: Kurasaki Fūko (Sky Raker) [Chitanda Eru] by >=1000
Over/Under: 8000
Over

ARENA 14: [Mikazuki Yozora] Kotegawa Yui by >=1000
Over/Under: 8000
Over

ARENA 15: [Yui] Oshino Shinobu by <=1000
Over/Under: 8000
Over

ARENA 16: [Hasegawa Kobato] Shirakiin Ririchiyo by >=1500
Over/Under: 8000
Over

ARENA 17: Momo Belia Deviluke [Yūki Asuna] by >=1500
Over/Under: 8000
Over

ARENA 18: Kirishima Shōko [Nibutani Shinka] by >=1300
Over/Under: 8000
Over

ARENA 19: [Kohinata Nanoka, Kasugano Sora] Onodera Karen, Kanda Yūko by >=1500
Over/Under: 8000
Under

ARENA 20: [Aisaka Taiga] Victorique de Blois by >=1000
Over/Under: 8000
Over

ARENA 21: Izumi Konata [Shana] by >=1000
Over/Under: 8000
Over

ARENA 22: [Kōsaka Kirino] Hirasawa Ui by >=1000
Over/Under: 8000
Over

ARENA 23: [Hirasawa Yui] Fujibayashi Kyō by <=1000
Over/Under: 8000
Over

ARENA 24: Tōsaka Rin [Eucliwood Hellscythe] by >=1000
Over/Under: 8000
Over

ARENA 25: Sengoku Nadeko [Last Order] by >=1000
Over/Under: 8000
Over

ARENA 26: Nymph [Akiyama Mio] by >=1200
Over/Under: 8000
Over

ARENA 27: Katsura Hinagiku [Senjōgahara Hitagi] by <=1000
Over/Under: 8000
Over

ARENA 28: [Suzumiya Haruhi] Furukawa Nagisa by >=1000
Over/Under: 8000
Over

ARENA 29: [Konjiki no Yami] C.C. by >=1000
Over/Under: 8000
Over

ARENA 30: [Gokō Ruri (Kuroneko)] Iwasawa Masami by >=1500
Over/Under: 8000
Over

ARENA 31: [Nagato Yuki] Sakagami Tomoyo by >=1000
Over/Under: 8000
Over

ARENA 32: Holo [Misaka Mikoto] by >=1500
Over/Under: 8000
Over

ARENA 33: Nakamura Yuri [Aragaki Ayase] by >=1000
Over/Under: 8000
Over

ARENA 34: [Yui-nyan] Kuroi Mato by >=1000
Over/Under: 8000
Over

ARENA 35: [Nakano Azusa] Charlotte Dunois by >=1000
Over/Under: 8000
Over

ARENA 36: Louise Vallière [Tachibana Kanade] by >=2000
Over/Under: 8000
Over

ARENA 37: Illyasviel von Einzbern [Saber] by >=1000
Over/Under: 8000
Over

The Roos are back in town...

SYDNEY, June 18 (Reuters) - Holger Osieck has taken quite a bit of flak during Australia's World Cup qualifying campaign and it was as much with relief as euphoria that the coach greeted the win that sent the Socceroos to Brazil on Tuesday.
A lacklustre campaign that featured only two wins from seven matches before the 1-0 victory over Iraq at Sydney's Olympic Stadium has tested the relationship between the German and Australia's soccer fans and media.
 The 64-year-old, an assistant coach with the Germany team that won the 1990 World Cup, made it clear at the post-match news conference that he wanted to enjoy the qualification and not go into an analysis of the game.
He did, however, find time to fire a salvo at the many who have questioned his decisions over the past three years.
"When you have 10 people, you have 10 different opinions, when you have 100 people, you have 100 opinions," he told reporters.
"Why should I care? I know what I'm doing, I'm close to the players, I know the situation.
"Sometimes a player you consider a starter, I don't see as a starter. Because of the situation in his club, because he's carrying an injury, whatever...
"But I can assure you, I'm pretty much on top of it although some people may not be of the same opinion."
 Osieck was brought in after Australia bowed out at the group stage of the 2010 World Cup finals to oversee the transition from an ageing golden generation to a younger group.
 The presence in Tuesday's line-up of players such as captain Lucas NeillTim Cahill and goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer indicate that he has been only partially successful.
 With seven minutes to go before fulltime on Tuesday, the match was locked at 0-0 and it looked like the direct path to Brazil would be blocked, at least until Oman met Jordan in the early hours of Wednesday morning, local time.
 Osieck had just made his last roll of the dice with a flurry of substitutions, which included bringing onJosh Kennedy for an unhappy Cahill, the darling of the nation.
"At times you reach a phase in a game where you have to make things happen, and it was about the time," Osieck said.
 Fortunately for Osieck he was vindicated when Kennedy, who had been absent from the Socceroos team for more than a year because of a back injury, headed home the winner.
Osieck admitted there is a lot of work to do over the next 12 months before he takes his squad to Brazil, but sounded delighted that he is still around to perform it.
"I'm very happy to live in Australia," he said. "I'm not, let's say, a distant coach. Coaching a team via computer, whatever.
"I like to live here and I want to live here and hopefully after today's victory I get at least another year."