DaMarcus Beasley may have boosted his World Cup chances. Jonathan Bornstein and Robbie Findlay did nothing to help theirs. And midfielder Stuart Holden joined the long U.S. injured list.
The United States fell flat in Europe once again, losing to the third-ranked Netherlands, 2-1, Wednesday night in Amsterdam in the Americans’ last match before coach Bob Bradley picks his World Cup roster.
“We had some moments in the first half that were OK, but I don’t think we put enough pressure on them,” said U.S. midfielder Landon Donovan, who hardly touched the ball. “It took us too long in the second half before we made some real plays.”
Dirk Kuyt converted a penalty kick in the 40th minute after Bornstein pulled on Wesley Sneijder’s arm in the penalty area. Kuyt sent his kick to the right of goalkeeper Tim Howard, who dived the other way.
“We lost our concentration and it was a very bad time to give up a penalty,” Bradley said.
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar made it 2-0 in the 73rd minute with a shot that deflected off Bornstein’s chest and left the already committed Howard with no chance to stop it.
U.S. captain Carlos Bocanegra scored in the 88th minute, getting his 12th goal in 77 appearances by beating goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg to the top of the 6-yard box to head in Beasley’s 35-yard free kick.
“They were all standing there, and they looked kind of confused, so I tried to take it as quickly as I could,” Beasley said.
Beasley had a chance to tie it in the 90th, but his free kick from just outside the penalty area was easily grabbed by Stekelenburg at the far post.
Holden limped off with a bruised shin in the 34th minute after a hard challenge by Nigel de Jong. Holden was taken for X-rays.
Bradley now must deliberate over the 23-man roster he’ll announce ahead of exhibitions against the Czech Republic (May 25 at East Hartford, Conn.) and Turkey (May 29 at Philadelphia). The Americans then head to South Africa, where they may have a June 5 exhibition against Australia before playing England on June 12 in their World Cup opener.
They complete pool play against Slovenia and Algeria.
U.S. women win
The United States beat Germany, 3-2, in Faro, Portugal, to capture the women’s Algarve Cup for the seventh time.
Germany goalkeeper Nadine Angerer fumbled the ball in the 70th minute and Lauren Cheney tapped it in for the winner.
“That was the only way I was scoring today, I had a few bad touches, but the goalie bounced it off my face,” Cheney said. “I even looked around me to make sure no one was by me so I couldn’t mess it up.”
U.S. coach Pia Sundhage said the team did “a fantastic job” after winning all three of its group games to reach the 12-nation tournament final.
“I am impressed. We play against Germany, one of the best teams in the world, we play on a bad pitch, it’s a bit muddy and we play in a final, but we performed in such a way that’s nice to see that kind of attacking soccer with solid defending,” Sundhage said..
With 28 of the 32 World Cup teams in action, Argentina eased the pressure on coach Diego Maradona with a 1-0 victory over Germany in Munich on David Villa’s goal. … Pressure mounted on France coach Raymond Domenech after a 2-0 loss to Spain in Paris. … Defending champion Italy was held to a 0-0 tie by Cameroon at Monte Carlo, Monaco. … England rallied for a 3-1 victory over Egypt at Wembley, England, on two goals by Peter Crouch sandwiched around a goal by and substitute Shaun Wright-Phillips. ... Lee Dong-gook and substitute Kwak Tae-hwi scored to give South Korea to a 2-0 victory over Ivory Coast in London. ... Portugal beat China, 2-0, in Coimbra, Portugal, as Cristiano Ronaldo set up Hugo Almeida’s goal in the 36th minute and Almeida added another in second-half injury time. … In a late game, Mexico played New Zealand in Pasadena, Calif.