The United States showed well in their final pre-World Cup friendly, riding an Edson Buddle first half brace to a 3-1 victory over Australia. The U.S. now shifts focus to next Saturday’s match with England while Australia starts preparations for Sunday’s game with Germany.
The U.S. got on the scoresheet in the fourth minute when Edson Buddle blasted a right footed shot past Mark Schwarzer, taking advantage of a Vincenzo Grella giveaway just outside the Australia area. It was Buddle’s second goal in his fourth U.S. men’s national team appearance.
In the 31st minute, Buddle headed home a cross from Steve Cherundolo to give the U.S. a 2-1 lead just over ten minutes after Australia’s TIm Cahill had equalized. Cahill slid onto an un-played corner that dropped just inside the six yard box, equalizing near the 20 minute mark. Cherundolo responded with a strong run to the goal line, beating his mark to open-up space for a cross that found Buddle at the far post. The Galaxy striker headed the ball down toward the line for his third international goal.
The second half was an eventual affair the saw scoring chances for Robbie Findley, Clint Dempsey, Mark Bresciano, and Scott Chipperfield speckle a 45 minutes characterized by aggressive play from the Australian defense. Dempsey, in particular, saw a disproportionate number of sliding challenges, a carry-over from a first half where a Craig Moore challenge precipitated an altercation that saw he and Dempsey carded.
In second half stoppage time, Herculez Gomez recorded his second international goal with a right footed finish from nine yards out, sealing the U.S.’s win. Landon Donovan, who put in another strong match on the right wing, found Gomez from the right edge of the Australia area. Gomez did well to turn the ball on goal, past Schwarzer for the insurance tally.
The U.S. also got strong performances a strong match from Michael Bradley and a promising performance from Robbie Findley, whose poor finishing will overshadow the number of chances his speed was able to create against the Socceroos defense. Findley had four scoring opportunities that saw him face-to-face with Schwarzer, but he converted none of them.