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Dirty Tackle

German keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen gifts the USA a 2-0 lead with a bizarre own goal

Brooks Peck
Dirty Tackle

Playing without a lot of first-choice players from Champions League finalists Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich, Germany took part in a friendly in United States to commemorate their host federation's 100th anniversary. And to celebrate the occasion, they seemed to be in a charitable mood.

Jozy Altidore opened the scoring by recording his first international goal from the run of play in two years with an excellent volley to put the USA up 1-0 in the 13th minute. Then, just three minutes later, 21-year-old German goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, who is reportedly holding out for a move to Barcelona, was credited with an own goal when he let a slow, simple backpass trickle right by him and into the net.

It's hard to say how it happened, but Ter Stegen seemed to change his mind on what he wanted to do with the ball just before he went to kick it. After his hesitation, he still got a toe on the ball, which is why he was credited with the own goal.

Though Germany had a number good early chance of their own, they couldn't finish any of them off, so the USA got out to a 2-0 after just 16 minutes on their special day. Germany did finally score in the 51st minute to make it 2-1, but Clint Dempsey added goals in the 60th and 65th minutes to make it 4-1. That gives him 35 career international goals, surpassing Eric Wynalda for the second most in USA history (Landon Donovan is top scorer with 49 goals).

Germany made the scoreline more respectable with goals in the 79th and 81st minutes to make it 4-3 and they put in a strong effort to equalize in the final 10 minutes, but couldn't quite do it. And as an added bonus, USA manager Jurgen Klinsmann, who coached Germany to a semifinal appearance at the 2006 World Cup beat his successor and former assistant Jogi Low.

Though it was only a friendly and it wasn't against a full strength German team, this will still be a confidence boost for the USA after losing 4-2 to Belgium in a friendly last week. They can add this to their friendly wins at Italy and Mexico in the last year in a half as reason to be cautiously optimistic against imposing opposition. Now, as they prepare to get back into World Cup qualifiers with a trip to Jamaica in five days, they have Jozy Altidore finally with a strong performance under his belt, which the USA attack has desperately needed. Here's video of his goal...

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