Though Russia outplayed the U.S. throughout much of their friendly on Wednesday, two second-half equalizers and some wonderful Tim Howard goalkeeping for the Americans ended up masking their defensive problems. Russia opened the scoring in just the ninth minute and repeatedly threatened to extend its lead, but Tim Howard compensated for his defenders' shortcomings and in the 76th minute, Michael Bradley made it 1-1 with a fine volley off the post from the top of the box.
The Russian threat and the U.S. bumbling defenders remained though, and in the 84th minute, Clarence Goodson was booked for a needless foul in the box. Roman Shirokov converted the penalty for Russia to seemingly put a justifiable end to the match. In the third minute of injury time, Bradley once again came up big for the U.S. with a perfect long ball that helped set up Mix Diskerud for his first senior international goal and end the match at 2-2.
It often wasn't pretty, but the U.S. once again get a result in the second half of a friendly away from home against a respectable opponent, as it did against Italy and Mexico earlier in the year. Though there are issues that need addressing before the hexagonal stage of World Cup qualifying begins in February, that's something with which to be pleased.
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