US beats Venezuela 1-0 on Clark's late goal

BY foxsports • January 22, 2012

Ricardo Clark headed home Jermaine Jones' corner in the 7th minute of stopping time to help the United States to a 1-0 victory over 10-man Venezuela in a friendly on Saturday night.

The U.S. had dominated play with nothing to show for it before Clark beat goalkeeper Jose Morales for his third international goal and first since September 2009. Clark entered the game as a substitute in the 86th minute.

Moments after Clark scored, Venezuela's Jose Velasquez was sent off.

The first match between the countries in five years featured the ''B'' teams of both nations because the top players are with their professional clubs, mainly in Europe.

An exception was Jones, who is playing with the national team while serving an eight-game suspension by the German football federation.

''It was a great cross,'' Clark said of the corner kick that led to the game winner. ''I found a good spot and made the most of it.''

It was Clark's first game since the United States played Mexico on Aug. 10. He last scored in international competition against Trinidad and Tobago on Sept. 9, 2009.

The 28-year-old midfielder is ignominiously remembered for his error in the 2010 World Cup, when Ghana's Kevin-Prince Boateng stripped the ball from him and put the Black Stars ahead in the fifth minute. Ghana went on to eliminate the Americans 2-1 in extra-time.

Jones, who served as U.S. captain for the game, was suspended when the German federation concluded he had intentionally stepped on the foot of star player Marco Reus during a break in a German Cup game between Jones' team Schalke and Borussia Moenchengladbach.

The U.S. had five times as many shots as Venezuela, many of the opportunities from short range, but the shots were either wide of the target, or saved by Morales.

Morales was shaken up after he took a knee to the left thigh from American C.J. Sapong. The goalkeeper sat on the ground for several minutes until the decision was made to leave him in the game, an incident that led to the extended stopping time that featured the winning goal.

The United States beat a team from South America for the first time since a 3-1 win over Ecuador on March 25, 2007. The U.S. had 10 losses and three draws against teams from that continent since then.

The American's win was its third in eight matches since former German World Cup star Jurgen Klinsmann took over from Bob Bradley as coach last year.

Venezuela had a scoring shot in the 62nd minute but Salazar's header went right into the hands of goalkeeper Bill Hamid. Moments later, the U.S. missed another chance when Teal Bunbury's shot off a counterattack went just right of the post.

The United States plays Panama in Panama City on Wednesday.

Hamid made his U.S. national team debut along with defender A.J. DeLaGarza, midfielder Graham Zusi and substitute Sapong.



United States: Bill Hamid; A.J. DeLaGarza, Michael Parkhurt, Geoff Cameron, Heath Pearce (Zack Loyd, 72nd); Jeff Larentowicz (Ricardo Clark, 62) Jermaine Jones, Graham Zusi (C.J. Sapong, 74), Benny Feilhaber (Chris Wondolowski, 62), Brek Shea; Teal Bunbury (Brad Evans, 88).

Venezuela: Jose Morales; Andres Rouga, Carlos Salazar, Jose Velasquez, Carlos Rivero; Miguel Mea Vitali (Emilio Renteria, 78), Alejandro Guerra (Diego Guerrero, 89), Angel Flores, Francisco Flores, Edgar Peres Greco (Angel Chourio, 73); Alejandro Moreno (Richard Blanco, 86).

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