Mikkel Diskerud and Michael Bradley scored a pair of excellent goals as the U.S. squeaked out a 2-2 draw with Russia.
The United States put in a mostly rough performance in Kradnosar on Wednesday night, but were rescued by two fantastic goals. They created very little going forward, while the home side controlled the game without much of a problem, but stellar goals by Mikkel Diskerud and Michael Bradley rescued a 2-2 draw for the United States.
Russia went ahead early, thanks to an absolutely horrible mistake by Danny Williams. He gifted them a goal with a giveaway, which went right to debutante Fydor Smolov. The United States defense, not expecting a quick change of possession, was caught off guard and did very little to contest Smolov as he scored a debut goal. Sadly for him, he was injured during the sequence and had to leave the match.
Jürgen Klinsmann made no changes at halftime, but brought on surprise team inclusion Juan Agudelo for Josh Gatt in the 63rd minute. Improbably, this switch led to a goal. Agudelo won the header that set up the 76th minute equalizer, though the finish was much more impressive than the assist. Michael Bradley made perfect contact with a volley off of Agudelo's header from 20 yards out and smoked his shot off the post and into the back of the net, tying up the match at 1-1.
Russia appeared to have a winner when Clarence Goodson -- who came in after Carlos Bocanegra picked up an injury -- took down Artem Dzyuba in the box following a quick free kick. Roman Shirokov stepped up and buried a powerful penalty to put his side ahead, but they were unable to hold onto the lead.
Diskerud entered for Geoff Cameron shortly after the goal, with Maurice Edu shifting back into defense. The equalizer came in a similar manner to the first U.S. goal, this time with substitute striker Terrence Boyd winning the header in the box and nodding backwards. Diskerud got himself into a great position and hit a low far-post finish from a similar spot to where Bradley scored, netting his first senior national team goal to clinch a draw.