It took 75 minutes but eventually the USA broke down a stubborn Azerbaijan defense as late goals from Mix Diskerud and Aron Johannsson lifted the USA to a 2-0 victory.
This was not a performance that inspired confidence that the US can get it of its group in Brazil. It left many American fans wondering if getting a point in the World Cup would be considered a success!
The Americans created several quality scoring chances early, the best one falling to Chris Wondolowski, a late substitution for the injured Clint Dempsey, but Wondolowski could not find the net despite a glorious free-kick from Graham Zusi .
The Americans found it tough to break down a stubborn Azerbaijan back line in the first half and went into the break scoreless. What worried me most about the performance was that the US tempo was too slow, especially in the second half as the 85th ranked side in the world were content to sit deep, and the Americans seemed clueless on how to break them down.
But eventually Jurgen Klinsmann’s side got the breakthrough when Michael Bradley’s effort from the edge of the box was stopped by the Azerbaijan goalkeeper, but Diskerud was there to fire home the third international goal of his career.
Six minutes later the Americans made it 2-0 when Davis delivered an excellent left-footed corner kick into the box onto the head of Johannsson, who rose and powered a header into the top right corner of the net.
Not quite sure why Azerbaijan was a world cup warm-up game for the Americans. One of the big questions remaining for the United States is who will be the starting central defence pairing when they take on Ghana in their World Cup opener on 16 June. With regular starter Omar Gonzalez nursing an injury, DaMarcus Beasley and Geoff Cameron started together on Tuesday but were rarely tested in the match, which once again begs the question, why this opponent? Klinsmann had only three games to get the American side ready for Brazil. Tuesday match wasted one of those opportunities.
Klinsmann’s team will next be in action on Sunday against Turkey at Red Bull Arena in New Jersey. They play Nigeria in Jacksonville, Florida, on 7 June.
The United States are drawn in Group G at Brazil 2014 along with Ghana, who reached the quarter-finals in the 2010 edition, UEFA EURO 2012 semi-finalists Portugal and Klinsmann’s native Germany.