Belgium beats US in Klinsmann's first away match
Belgium beat a youthful United States team 1-0 in an international friendly on Tuesday in new coach Jurgen Klinsmann's first away match.
Nicholas Lombaerts' half volley in the 55th minute settled a match which the Belgians dominated throughout, while the U.S. rarely threatened.
Klinsmann was looking for his first win in the friendly, following a draw at home against Mexico and a loss to Costa Rica.
He has limited time left to assemble the players who will play in the World Cup qualifiers which start next June.
''It was an interesting game for both sides,'' Klinsmann said. ''For the first 25 minutes the U.S. had a good passing game going, but then the individual Belgian class started to show.
''The (U.S.) players have learned a lot from the game.''
He said the match showed that the U.S. had some good players coming up right now, including Juan Agudelo, Jose Torres, Brek Shea and Timmy Chandler.
Meanwhile, Belgium's chances of qualifying for next year's European Championship receded after it drew against Azerbaijan on Friday. Germany has already qualified in Group A, and Turkey is ahead of the Red Devils by one point.
The U.S. team played aggressively only in the opening minutes. In the sixth minute, Clint Dempsey's free kick was fumbled by Belgian goalkeeper Simon Mignolet. Ten minutes later U.S. playmaker Torres curled a free kick from the right just past the far post.
Although both sides found it hard going on a rain-soaked pitch, the home side looked increasingly dangerous as the match went on, repeatedly testing the U.S. defense.
In the 25th minute Timmy Simons struck a low ball from the right edge of the area, which U.S. keeper Tim Howard deflected. Seven minutes later, Dries Mertens crossed the ball into the area to an unmarked Marouane Fellaini, whose close-range shot was stopped by Howard.
Second-half substitutes Agudelo and Kyle Beckerman did little to energize the U.S. performance.
Still, the Americans had their best chance five minutes before the end, when a midfield cross found its way to Edu, who headed the ball past Mignolet. But the referee disallowed the goal because Clarence Goodson was deemed to have handled the ball inside the box.
Belgium coach Georges Leekens said the U.S. team had played well for the first 15 minutes, adding: ''Then we got a grip and we really wanted to win at home after the Azarbaijan match.''
Belgium: Simon Mignolet, Laurent Ciman, Toby Alderweireld, Vincent Kompany, Nicolas Lombaerts, Timmy Simons, Eden Hazard (Marvin Ogunjimi, 61), Marouane Fellaini (Romelu Lukaku, 61), Igor De Camargo, Axel Witsel, Dries Mertens.
United States: Tim Howard, Steve Cherundolo, Timmy Chandler, Clarence Goodson, Carlos Bocanegra, Clint Dempsey, Robbie Rogers (Kyle Beckerman, 46), Maurice Edu, Jozy Altidore (Juan Agudelo, 46), Jose Torres (Jeff Larentowicz, 75), Brek Shea.