The United States Men’s National Team was out-played for much of the night. Peru dominated the first half and most of the second but the Yanks came out fast to start the second 45. Josh Sargent grabbed his second international goal in the 49th minute, but Peru’s Edison Flores leveled it in the 86th minute as the U.S. and Peru played to a 1-1 draw.
As promised, Dave Sarachan made a number of changes to his starting XI. Only Tim Weah and Kellyn Acosta remained from last week’s 4-2 loss to Colombia. The interim head coach gave three more players their debut — Jonathan Amon, Reggie Cannon, and Aaron Long — increasing the amount of players who made their debut in 2018 to 19. This is the third highest since 1990 with still two more scheduled games this year. Michael Bradley came in off the bench and made his 142nd cap, moving him into sole possession for the third most caps in USMNT history.
The first half was much of the same story for the Yanks as on Thursday. Peru dominated, holding 70% possession in the first 45 minutes, and the U.S. spent almost the entire half defending. Peru played a possession style, but moved the ball horizontally and couldn’t get any good looks on goal. Brad Guzan did not have to make a single save in the first half, and finished the game with two.
When in possession, the U.S. was sloppy and continuously made poor decisions and bad passes. Weah was the most threatening player on the field, and every time he touched the ball he looked dangerous.
The best chance of the half came in the 15th minute. Sargent flicked the ball on to Amon and the Yanks had numbers going forward. With Weah wide open to his right, Amon tried to play him the ball, but it was a poor attempt that was too far in front, stalling the attack.
The U.S. brought a sense of urgency and energy out of the locker to start the second half, leading to a go-ahead goal in the 49th minute. The Yanks won a free kick to the side of Peru’s box and it was a play straight from the training ground for the Americans. Acosta found Sargent, who passed the ball into the back post. The ball trickled in after taking a deflection and the U.S. went up 1-0.
The Yanks continued their pressure after scoring the goal but could not do anything in the final third. Sargent looked comfortable on the ball but showed his inexperience in his decision making. The same could be said for many Americans, specifically Amon, who showed glimpses of his potential but needs to develop more to be an effective player.
As the half went on, Peru started to get more and more opportunities. Orlando City’s Yoshimar Yotún came on in the 66th minute and was immediately heavily involved. Peru continued to hold onto the ball, and finished the game with 69% possession. In the 75th minute, Yoshi almost got an assist when he played the ball off to Andy Polo. Polo took shot from about 30 yards out and hit the crossbar.
Peru continued to fight and got the equalizer in the 86th minute. DeAndre Yedlin, who made his entrance just moments before, lost Flores on the back post. Flores just had to tap the pass from Polo into the back of the net and tied the game at one.
In the dying moments of the match, Peru had a free kick just outside the box. Yoshi stood over the ball and took a crack at goal. His in-swinger nearly got past Guzan who had to make a diving, one-handed save.
The game ended 1-1 but Peru led in nearly every statistical category. The U.S. got out-shot (14-5), had fewer shots on target (3-2) and corners (6-2), and trailed in possession (69%-31%). The United States is now 3-2-2 against Peru in the all-time series, and 2-0-1 in the last three meetings. Overall, despite being outplayed, it was a good outing for a young U.S. team against a South American side that made the World Cup, even though the late goal allowed on Yedlin’s error soured it a bit.
This was likely Sarachan’s last game in charge of the U.S. with a head coach expected to be hired in the beginning of November.
The next scheduled match for the USMNT is Nov. 15 at Wembley Stadium against England at 3 p.m. ET.