It hasn't been a pretty match and it hasn't been particularly entertaining, but after 45 minutes at Ford Field in Detroit, MI, the United States leads Canada, 1-0, thanks to a goal by Jozy Altidore. There is no doubt that the Americans have been the better team, but it is tough to judge just how good the U.S. has been because the Canucks have been so poor. The terrible temporary grass field hasn't helped the quality of play either and while the U.S. will wonder why they can't add to their lead, they'll take what they have.
The U.S. was all over the Canadians from the very beginning. They got a free kick just outside the box in the second minute and while the free kick by Clint Dempsey clipped the wall, they got a corner kick off of it. That corner kick led to multiple shots on goal, all of which were blocked. That was a theme for the U.S. in the first half as they took shots on frame, but most were blocked.
Three more corner kicks int he first 10 minutes followed, all of which ended with shots blocked. All but one that is, which ended with Carlos Bocanegra open in front with a chance to deflect the ball into a largely open net, but instead deflecting it wide of the frame.
In the 14th minute, the U.S. finally got their goal. Landon Donovan was given plenty of space in the middle of the field to survey the action and he spotted Altidore making a run in behind the Canadian defense. Donovan's ball to Altidore was perfect and Altidore ran onto it inside the box on the right side. A defender started to close him down, but Altidore turned on his second touch and fired low and hard. It was a good play by Altidore and a hard shot, but one that Lars Hirschfeld should have had. It got by the Canadian keeper though and Altidore wasn't going to complain. He ran to the corner to celebrate a 1-0 U.S. lead.
After the U.S. goal, things evened out some. Canada had some possession, but the Americans continued to be the better side. It didn't matter much though because neither team did much in the way of attacking. It was primarily sideways passing as the match turned into a bore for all those watching.
The U.S. will take their lead, even if it may have become a bore. They will not be happy with just a one-goal lead though and will come out in the second 45 minutes looking to build upon it.