No respite as Sunderland’s Altidore suffers blank for USA

Jozy Altidore.
Jozy Altidore.
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TROUBLED Sunderland striker Jozy Altidore failed to get an international boost after the USA slumped to a 2-0 defeat to Ukraine last night.

Altidore, dropped from the Black Cats’ squad altogether for the Capital One Cup final at the weekend, had the opportunity to bounce back as part of Jurgen Klinsmann’s World Cup-bound American team.

He was handed the incentive of starting the friendly, held in Cyprus, but a disjointed display from the USA saw them fall to only their third defeat in 19 games.

Goals from Andriy Yarmolenko and Marko Devic in either half saw Ukraine ease home on a night where their opponents mustered only a couple of chances all game – one of which was headed over by the Sunderland striker.

Altidore was one of nine Sunderland players on international duty.

Steven Fletcher and Phil Bardsley were both involved in Scotland’s 1-0 win over Poland in Warsaw.

Fletcher got valuable match-practice under his belt, playing the first 45 minutes, while Bardsley came on as a 67th-minute substitute – 10 minutes before Celtic’s Scott Brown scored the only goal.

Sunderland captain John O’Shea was an unused substitute for the Republic of Ireland as bosses Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane experimented against Serbia in a game which saw ex-Black Cat James McClean starting and Daryl Murphy and David Meyler come on as second-half substitute.

The Republic of Ireland took the lead thanks to an early goal from Hull City’s Shane Long, but Filip Djordevic and a James McCarthy own goal condemned them to defeat at the Aviva Stadium.

Seb Larsson suffered a second disappointing defeat in the space of four days when the Capital One Cup final loss to Manchester City on Sunday was followed by a 2-1 defeat for Sweden against Turkey in Ankara.

There was better news for his Sunderland team-mate Ki Sung-Yueng, who was part of South Korea’s 2-0 win over Greece in Piraeus.

Ki’s 17th-minute free-kick led to his side taking the lead, Park Chu-Young scoring. Son Heung-Min added the second before Ki was substituted four minutes from time.

Sunderland’s other senior international player involved last night was Italian winger Emanuele Giaccherini.

He came on for the injured Thiago Motta after 62 minutes in the Azzurri’s friendly in Spain, but was barely on the pitch before Pedro drove home the winning goal for the hosts in Madrid.

There was joy and disappointment for two Sunderland players at Under-21 level.

Greek winger Charis Mavrias played 77 minutes of Greece’s 2-1 win over Turkey, while the Republic of Ireland’s hopes of making the European Under-21 Championship finals perished when an early Matt Doherty goal was cancelled out by two late strikes from Montenegro.

Black Cats defender John Egan, who joined Southend on loan last weekend, played the full 90 minutes for Ireland.