USA 1, Chile 1 | 2019 International Friendly Match Recap
The US men's national team remain undefeated under Gregg Berhalter, though they got a reality check in Houston on Tuesday night.
A flinty, hard-working Chile gave the USMNT all they could handle in a 1-1 draw at the Houston Dynamo's BBVA Compass Stadium, dominating possession and creating twice as many shots as their hosts as La Roja's familiar pressing repeatedly disrupted US efforts to build play out of the back.
Christian Pulisic got the night started with a bang, putting the USMNT in the lead less than five minutes after the opening whistle after a stellar piece of setup work by Gyasi Zardes. The Borussia Dortmund star would limp off with a grimace later in the half with an apparent thigh injury, however, leaving US fans to worry about his health once again.
Chile responded to the goal within minutes. Some quick combination work among Arturo Vidal, Nicolas Castillo and Charles Aranguiz shredded the US defense and allowed Oscar Opazo to arrive from the left channel and rifle an angled shot past Ethan Horvath for the equalizer.
The next 80-plus minutes ebbed and flowed, with Chile usually the protagonists, though some second-half substitutions stabilized the USMNT midfield and allowed them to salt away a draw that leaves Berhalter's record at 3-1 as focus shifts towards this summer's Gold Cup.
- 4' – USA – Christian Pulisic
- 9' – CHI – Oscar Opazo
- THE BIG PICTURE: The good vibes of Berhalter's first few months in charge were always going to hit a setback at some point, and the defending Copa America champions were a logical perpetrator to inflict it. The new coach's cerebral possession philosophy was due for a high-octane test and this game will give him and his staff plenty to chew over.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Anyone who thought Pulisic's early strike signaled another confident US victory was brought crashing down to earth when Opazo capitalized on a sustained sequence of sloppy defending:
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Zardes served up the USMNT's best play of the night with his assist, yet on balance this award belongs to Michael Bradley, who passed confidently and effectively amid Chile's withering pressure and deserved a game-winning dime for his pinpoint delivery to Corey Baird on the doorstep in the 44th minute.
Michael Bradley tonight: pic.twitter.com/asv7rWBZTq— Paul Carr (@PaulCarr) March 27, 2019