In the 74th minute of Saturday’s friendly between the U.S. Men’s National Team and the Chilean National Team, forward Teal Bunbury bounced the ball off the bottom right goalpost and into the back of the net. This penalty kick, awarded for a Chilean defender’s botched tackle of midfielder Juan Agudelo, led to the game’s final score of 1-1.
The first goal of the match came in the 53rd minute. U.S. central defender Marvell Wynne overcommitted allowing Chile’s Fernando Meneses to cross the ball into Esteban Paredes. Paredes then scissor kicked the ball into the bottom left corner of Sean Johnson’s net.
Paredes post-goal celebration was decidedly more typical than the synchronized dance Agudelo and Bunbury, each in their second appearance for the national team, performed after the U.S. goal.
Young, inexperienced players like this were typical of the lineup which USMNT head coach Bob Bradley decided upon for Saturday night’s match. The average age of the squad was just over 23 and there were only 26 national team appearances amongst the players.
Bradley used the match to assess his young players, 18 of the 23 from MLS, after a three week training camp.
The Chilean team was an ideal opponent for this purpose. Both the U.S. and Chile were playing their first game of 2011 after losing their first knockout matches in the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Each team had a good chance to end Saturday’s match as the victor.
In the 64th minute, U.S. midfielder Alejandro Bedoya had a breakaway and managed to get the ball past Chile’s goalkeeper. However, the keeper slowed the ball enough that Bedoya’s momentum carried him past it, giving a Chilean defender an opportunity to clear the ball.
In the 80th minute, it looked as though Paredes had headed in another goal, but the lineman declared him offside, preserving the tie.
Saturday’s draw means that in nine meetings between the US and Chile, Chile has won four matches, the U.S. three and two have been ties.