A first-half penalty kick finished by Bobby Wood was the difference as a young US national team side edged Paraguay 1-0 in a chippy international friendly at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, North Carolina on Tuesday night.
The game-winning spot kick was earned by the young central-midfield duo of Marky Delgado and Tyler Adams, the former springing the latter with a canny pass into acres of space behind the high Paraguayan back line just before halftime. Adams raced in alone on Gatito Fernandez, cutting left and forcing the goalkeeper to clip him to the turf, and Wood netted calmly from the spot.
The goal was a reasonable reward for a US side that enjoyed plenty of possession and made things difficult for their guests, though the home side struggled to carve out scoring chances to match their overall superiority. The occasion got heated down the stretch as Paraguay's frustrations boiled over in the form of some nasty challenges that left them fortunate to finish with 11 men on the field.
- 45' – USA – Bobby Wood (PK) | Watch
- THE BIG PICTURE: They should've scored another goal or two (see tweet below), and thus left themselves open to a late Paraguayan gut punch that never came. But this young US squad gave fans some reasons to feel good amid the World Cup-less gloom with a decent display of possession, movement and bite.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Delgado's well-weighted pass meshed perfectly with Adams' typical hard running to set up the winning PK.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Young captain-for-the-night Wil Trapp was his usual cerebral self in deep midfield, but Tyler Adams gets the nod by a hair thanks to another all-action display, working hard (and smart) in both directions.