The United States didn't need many chances at goal against Italy. All they needed was one and Clint Dempsey took advantage of that one, scoring in the 56th minute to propel the U.S. past the Azzurri, 1-0, in Genoa, Italy.
It was not the prettiest of starts for the Americans and Italy pressed early on and almost scored within five minutes, but Tim Howard made a fine save to keep the U.S. even. A couple more chances came for the Italians, but as time went on, the chances went away.
The U.S. may not have created any decent chances in the first half, but they were strong at the back and in the midfield. Their organized defense drew Italy offside time and time again and the U.S. midfield closed down on any build up play. It wasn't exactly entertaining, but it was effective and the two sides went to halftime scoreless.
The beginning of the second half looked exactly like the first as the two teams battled in the midfield without a chance either way. That would only last for 10 minutes, though, because seemingly out of nowhere, the U.S. found a chance.
Fabian Johnson came flying forward from his left back spot and for the first time all match, the Italy defense was under pressure. Johnson hit a floating cross into the center for Jozy Altidore, who had his back to goal in the middle of the box. With a defender on him, Altidore made up for a very poor first 55 minutes with a great bit of hold up play as he brought the ball down with a good touch and then laid the ball off for an onrushing Dempsey. From there, Dempsey had a simple finish and the Americans' best player wasn't going to botch it, sliding the ball across Gianluigi Buffon and home for the winning goal.
Italy did their best to equalize, but it just wasn't there. The U.S. defense was organized and they were given considerable help by Michael Bradley and Maurice Edu, who made tackle after tackle in front of the back line. Italy couldn't break the U.S. down and as much of the ball as they had, they never really created chances.
Eventually, the final whistle blew and the U.S. had themselves their first ever win against Italy, dating back to their first first match against the Azzurri back in 1934. In addition, the Americans became the first team to ever beat the Italians in Genoa, ending the Azzurri's undefeated run at Stadio Luigi Ferraris.