[SLOVAKIA-USA] Marek Hamsik's penalty kick in the 26th minute gave Slovakia a 1-0 win over the USA in their friendly in Bratislava's Tehelne Pole. The Americans couldn't convert their huge edge in possession before and after the Slovakian goal into enough dangerous chances to trouble keeper John Mucha.
The only surprise in the U.S. lineup
was Jonathan Spector's placement in the middle of the backline next to Carlos Bocanegra.
The Slovakians gave
the USA room to attack down the wings with Steve Cherundolo and Robbie Rogers on the right side and Jonathan Bornstein on the left, but Jozy Altidore and Casey Casey were given little room
to operate up front.
Slovakia's goal came when the elusive Vladimir Weiss, the teenage son of the Slovakia coach of the same name, was played a ball
into the edge of box by Robert Vittek and went down after Bornstein grabbed him.
"I thought we had a good start in the match in the first 25
minutes," said U.S. coach Bob Bradley. "The penalty and going down 1-0 changed the game. Slovakia is a very well organized team and has a lot of people behind
the ball. We were not sharp enough with our ability in the attacking third to make a play and get through the defense."
The USA continues preparations for the 2010 World Cup, traveling on
Sunday to face another 2010 qualifier, Denmark, on Wednesday in Aarhus.
The match against Denmark will kick off on ESPN Classic live at 2:30 p.m. ET and then will switch over to ESPN2
immediately following the conclusion of the World Cup 2010 qualifying playoff match between Ukraine and Greece.
Nov. 14 in Bratislava
Slovakia 1 USA 0. Goal: Hamsik (pen.) 26.
USA -- Guzan, Cherundolo, Spector,
Bocanegra (Goodson, 72), Bornstein, Rogers (Kljestan, 82), Feilhaber, 4 Bradley, Dempsey (McCarty, 72), Altidore (Cunningham, 82), Casey (Johnson, 46)
Slovakia -- Mucha, Zabavnik, Skrtel, Durica, Cech (Pekarik, 90+2), Weiss (Kucka, 82), Karhan (Kozak, 90+1) Hamsik (Strba, 90+1), Stoch (Sestak, 61), Vittek (Svento, 68), Jendrisek.
Referee: Stefan Messner (AUT)