Altidore on target in USA defeat

Jozy Altidore (right) gets congratulated on his penalty opener for the USA last night
Jozy Altidore (right) gets congratulated on his penalty opener for the USA last night
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SUNDERLAND striker Jozy Altidore notched for the USA last night, but Colombia hit back to claim a 2-1 friendly win at Craven Cottage.

Altidore converted an eighth-minute penalty after Pablo Armero handled. Carlos Bacca levelled before Teofilo Gutierrez headed an 87th-minute winner after US keeper Brad Guzan had kept his side in the game with several good saves.

Aston Villa’s Carlos Sanchez was included in Pekerman’s starting XI playing alongside 2014 World Cup Golden Boot winner James Rodriguez in midfield.

Both players combined to create the first chance of the game in the fifth minute. Rodriguez fed Sanchez just outside the box and his left-footed shot was saved by Guzan.

Two minutes later, the referee pointed to the spot after Armero cleared a dangerous ball with his arm.

Altidore stepped up take the kick and the Sunderland forward struck a powerful right-footed shot towards the far post to beat Colombia goalkeeper Camilo Vargas for his 25th international goal.

Los Cafeteros reacted and had several chances to equalise before the half-hour mark.

Bacca headed Rodriguez’s cross over the bar before Real Madrid star Rodriguez’s powerful free-kick went just wide of the far post.

Jelson Murillo then forced Guzan to palm the ball over the bar with a powerful header.

Colombia had the best opportunity to pull level when Gutierrez spotted Bacca in the box and the Sevilla striker’s first touch beat Guzan but rebounded off the near post.

Before the interval, Rubio Rubin should have doubled USA’s lead but headed Kyle Beckerman’s perfect cross wide from a great position.

The Americans could have made it 2-0 early in the second half but Rubin’s flying header from Alejandro Bedoya’s cross went inches wide.

Colombia were finally rewarded when Rodriguez set up Bacca in the box and he struck a diagonal shot past Guzan.

The goal inspired the South Americans and Guzan was then forced to fully stretch to keep out powerful efforts from Gutierrez, Armero and Juan Guillermo Cuadrado.

The World Cup quarter-finalists kept up the pressure and finally went in front when Gutierrez got his head on substitute Edwin Cardona’s cross to beat Guzan.

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