U.S., Canada play to scoreless draw
TORONTO -- The United States played a scoreless draw against Canada on Sunday night, failing to convert a couple of strong chances in its third exhibition in eight days.
Clarence Goodson tried a header off a free kick during stoppage time, but Canada goalkeeper Lars Hirschfeld knocked the ball over the bar. Goodson also missed a close opportunity early on, shooting wide to the left.
The U.S. stretched its unbeaten streak against its northern neighbors to 15 games in its first game in Canada since Roy Wegerle had two goals in a 3-0 victory in World Cup qualifying on Nov. 9, 1997, in Vancouver. It holds a 13-8-10 advantage in the series.
USMNT: Canada Frustrates U.S.
Barely a week after thrashing Scotland 5-1, the U.S. showed alarming signs of regression in an incoherent and difficult performance against Canada, eventually stumbling to a 0-0 draw, writes Roger Bennett. Story
On paper, the Americans were expected to walk away with a multiple-goal win. Instead, the U.S. ran into a tenacious, well-organized opponent that was content to frustrate them with rhythm-killing fouls, writes Doug McIntyre. Blog
• Stats & Info: Five Aside blog
"I think the first half we were doing quite well in terms of possession and moving the ball around," U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann said. "I think what we were lacking was in the final third failing to create more chances and getting down the end line and getting crosses in.
"The second half was more open and either team could have scored a goal, particularly in the last couple of minutes."
Canada, which was seeking its first win against the U.S. since a 2-0 victory in Vancouver on April 2, 1985, also had a strong chance during stoppage time, but substitute Simeon Jackson failed to connect after collecting a pass from Dwayne De Rosario.
While the U.S. team has been busy lately, the Canadians played together for the first time since a 3-1 loss to Armenia in February.
"Overall, two different halves for us," Canada coach Stephen Hart said. "In the first half we showed good discipline, good organization but we were a little sloppy with the ball at times and a little bit, too, maybe nervous.
"But I was very pleased with the way we played in the second half."
The Americans beat Scotland 5-1 on May 26, then lost to Brazil 4-1 on Wednesday.
Klinsmann had both Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey in the starting lineup on Sunday for the first time since he took over last July, and the U.S. controlled most of the early action. Jermaine Jones' shot was blocked in the second minute and Goodson missed about a minute later.
But the Canadians settled in and began to do some attacking of their own. De Rosario shot wide right in the ninth minute.
Hirschfield and U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard were both tested in the first half. Hirschfeld tipped a shot from Edgar Castillo over the bar in the 15th minute, and Howard denied Tosaint Ricketts eight minutes later.
Nik Ledgerwood put the ball into the top left corner of the U.S. goal in the 34th minute but it was waved off because of a foul by a Canadian player in the 18-yard box.
De Rosario said he was not told by the referee what happened on the disallowed goal.
"I have no idea," De Rosario said. "I asked the referee and he didn't give me an explanation. He just said it's a free kick. Unfortunately that's to be expected. To get that call at that stage of the game is probably something we'll face in coming games.
"And the way we kept our composure and kept our heads and kept plugging away shows our experience and it shows our professionalism and our growth as a team."
Match notesCanada plays its World Cup qualifying third-round opener on Friday at Cuba. The U.S. hosts Antigua and Barbuda at Tampa, Fla., that same night in its third-round opener. ... The teams last met in June 2011 when the U.S. beat Canada 2-0 at the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press