BRUSSELS - The United States slipped to a
second successive defeat under new coach Jurgen Klinsmann
after a 55th minute strike from Nicolas Lombaerts gave Belgium
a 1-0 international friendly win on Tuesday.
German Klinsmann took over from American Bob Bradley in
July and his team had drawn with Mexico and lost to Costa Rica
in friendly games ahead of Tuesday's match at the King Baudouin
Belgium, who are struggling to qualify for next year's
European Championships, were on top for most of the first half
and forced U.S. keeper Tim Howard into action in the 26th
minute with a low shot from Timmy Simons.
Dries Mertens then went close twice as the Belgians took
full advantage of the space given to them in the final third of
Marouane Fellaini forced another good reaction save from
his Everton team-mate Howard but it was not until 10 minutes
after the interval that the home side got in front.
The ball was cleared to Lombaerts on the edge of the area
and he struck a sweet left-foot drive which beat a partially
The U.S. enjoyed some smart possession football at times
but created few chances, although they were left puzzled when
Maurice Edu had a header ruled out in the 86th minute.
Belgium should have doubled their advantage in injury-time
but Chelsea's 18-year-old forward Romelu Lukaku was badly
off-target from a very promising position.
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