USA vs. Germany: Americans survive late German surge in 4-3 victory

USA TODAY Sports

Germany nearly overcame a 4-1 second half deficit but came up a goal short as the United States earned a 4-3 victory at RFK Stadium.

The United States got some of their confidence back with a 4-3 victory over Germany on Sunday. It's the first time US head coach Jürgen Klinsmann faced his old national team since taking the US job. Jozy Altidore was excellent with a goal and an assist while Clint Dempsey scored twice as well for the Americans.

More from our team blogs: US Soccer blog Stars and Stripes FC

Dempsey got the US going in the 13th minute, making a long run that ended just on the edge of the Germany box before shifting the ball to Graham Zusi. The Sporting KC midfielder placed an excellent cross into the box, where Altidore made a quick run -- leaving Per Mertesacker behind -- and volleyed Zusi's cross past Marc-André ter Stegen.

Three minutes later, the Americans doubled their lead thanks to a bit of hilarity from ter Stegen. After a short goal kick, the US kept up decent pressure as Benedikt Höwedes sent a harmless looking back pass towards the young goaltender. He completely misread the ball, hesitated and watched as it rolled past him and into the net.

The Germans responded after the early goals, but were unable to break through before halftime. Miroslav Klose momentarily thought he'd put the Germans on the board in the 24th minute before the goal was called back for offside. Julian Draxler finally challenged Tim Howard in the 32nd minute, but the American goalkeeper was up to the task and punched away the effort.

Die Mannschaft continued where it left off as the second half began, putting the US under pressure and finally scoring its opening goal in the 52nd minute. Halftime substitute Heiko Westermann got free on a corner -- for the second straight game defender Omar Gonzalez failed to properly mark his man on a set piece -- and headed Max Kruse's corner past Howard.

The United States fought back after the flat start to the half and extended the lead to 3-1 in the 59th minute as Altidore, who looked disinterested in the Belgium match, brought down a long ball on the left side of the Germany area. Altidore's first touch was superb and, after a bit of patience, he found Dempsey in space on the right for the easy finish.

Dempsey scored his second of the match in the 65th minute with a sublime rocket from 25 yards that fooled ter Stegen and tucked into the upper corner. Dempsey's initial play to create space was strong in taking advantage of Lukas Podolski's aggressive pursuit before cutting back and sending his shot on frame.

Kruse, who assisted on the first German goal, scored an excellent one of his own in the 79th minute. The Borussia Mönchengladbach striker picked up the ball on the edge of the box and cut inside before placing a shot in space between the American defenders, making the score 4-2.

Two minutes later, Howard left a big rebound off a shot by Sidney Sam from the right side. Draxler was the man on the spot, jumping on the loose ball and bringing Germany within a goal at 4-3. That was where the Americans stopped the rally, finishing off the victory to cheers from an enthused crowd.

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