The first of two warm-up friendlies for the United States didn't exactly go as planned on Wednesday night. Belgium's superior talent and the United States' absences showed as the Belgians won 4-2 without looking like they were putting forward their best effort for the majority of the match.
Kevin Mirallas scored just six minutes into the game, capitalizing on multiple errors. Tim Howard rushed off his line to claim a ball over the top intended for Romelu Lukaku, who had beaten the U.S. defense easily. However, Howard couldn't hold the ball or punch it away, instead spilling it right to Mirallas, who chipped over him.
The U.S. hit back on a set piece to head into halftime with the score level. On a short corner routine, Graham Zusi passed to Brad Davis, who immediately hit a cross towards the back post. Clint Dempsey won a header and nodded back across the goal for Geoff Cameron, who beat Jan Vertonghen in the air to nod past Simon Mignolet. Shortly afterwards, Thomas Vermaelen was forced out with an injury.
While the U.S. was able to hold their own against a lackluster Belgium team in the first half, the second half was a different story. Eddie Johnson came on for the lethargic Jozy Altidore and was an improvement, while Brad Guzan came in and did no better or worse than Tim Howard. Those two were the least of the USMNT's problems, as their midfield and defense broke down early and often in the second half.
Christian Benteke, who came on for an injured Moussa Dembele in the first half, put Belgium ahead in the 56th minute. Multiple players made errors in the build-up to the goal, with DaMarcus Beasley and Brad Davis giving away the ball to start the move. Omar Gonzalez looked to have the ball under control in the penalty area, but his intended clearance turned into a perfect pass for Kevin De Bruyne, who crossed for Benteke to finish.
At this point, things got ugly. Marouane Fellaini scored Belgium's third in the 65th minute on a header, assisted by De Bruyne with a cross after a corner. Benteke scored a fourth in the 71st minute through Benteke, who chipped over Guzan after picking up a through ball from Steven Defour.
The United States made the score a bit less embarrassing with the assistance of the referee in the 80th minute. Toby Alderweireld was called for a questionable handball in the box when a ball hit his elbow while his arm was tucked in at his side. He made no attempt to play the ball with his arm and his arm was not extended, so the call was a harsh one. Clint Dempsey stepped up to convert for the U.S.'s second goal of the night.