World Cup concern: USMNT overcome by Japan in friendly
The US men’s national team suffered a 2-0 defeat to Japan at the Merkur Spiel-Arena in Düsseldorf, Germany on Friday, a match that was the first of two Europe-based friendlies for Gregg Berhalter’s squad before the Qatar 2022 World Cup in November.
The Yanks’ final tune-up comes Tuesday against Saudi Arabia (2 pm ET | FS1, UniMás, TUDN) in Murcia, Spain.
The USMNT were punished for a sloppy first half in which they lost possession 54 times in their defensive half, by conceding in the 24th minute when Daichi Kamada tucked a shot inside the far post, giving the Samurai Blue a 1-0 lead. The Eintracht Frankfurt midfielder’s goal was awarded following Video Review after initially being waved off because the offside flag was raised.
Kamada nearly had a decisive second goal in the 65th minute, but Matt Turner dived to his left to get a hand on the attempt, which came after another USMNT turnover. The Arsenal goalkeeper also lunged up to get a touch on Ritsu Doan’s blast from atop the 18-yard box in the 75th minute.
Turner, though, could do nothing to stop Kaoru Mitoma, who split defenders before putting his precise strike inside the far post two minutes from full time.