The match played out as expected for 13 minutes. Then the United States had one lapse in defense, setting themselves up to play into Slovenia's hands.
Valter Birsa's left-footed shot from 24 yards found the right side of Tim Howard's net, putting Slovenia up 1-0 just under a quarter-hour into the match. The United States had nobody within two meters of Birsa at the time the Slovenia attacker let go of the shot.
The United States looked set to the goal back in the moments that follow, this a Jose Francisco Torres direct kick forcing a diving save from Samir Handanovic. Moments later the States nearly tied the match when a ball rolled through the six yard box was barely missed by Clint Dempsey. Slovenia also saved a ball off the line on a set piece, also blocking a United States shot that was headed toward an empty net.
But United States hopes were dashed in the 41st minute when Zlatan Ljubijankic finished a counter attack to put the Slovenes up 2-0. A ball played to Milivoje Novakovic in front of the line caught the United States with only two defenders back, and when Novakovic played Ljubijankic behind then, the Slovene attacker had an easy finish to make it 2-0.