Krasnodar, stateprov, Russian Federation (4E Sports) – Substitute Mikkel Diskerud scored in stoppage time as the US national soccer team fought back twice to force a 2-2 draw with Russia during Wednesday’s international friendly at Kuban Stadium.
Three minutes into stoppage time, Diskerud received a pass from long ball from striker Terrence Boyd and unleashed a header that went past Russian goalkeeper Vladimir Gabulov to give the Americans a hard-earned draw.
“We saw a very entertaining game. Russia proved why they are one of the best teams in Europe, and we wanted to see how good we are against such a strong team. The way our team fought back twice after being down a goal was great and it showed a lot of character,” said US team coach Jurgen Klinsman.
“This is a young team, and a team that is growing. We are pleased with the game overall, and to score in the last minute was great,” he added.
The result gave the Americans their best finish in a calendar year with nine wins, two losses and three draws, including wins against formidable squads like Italy and Mexico.
The draw, for their part, snapped the Russians’ four-game winning run from the World Cup qualifiers, including a victory over Portugal.
Aside from Diskerud, goalkeeper Tim Howard played a crucial part in the draw with a string of fine stops to save a US team missing superstars Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey.
Michael Bradley also scored a spectacular volley in the 76th minute to erase Russia’s 1-0 lead from a goal by Fedor Smolov in the ninth minute.
Roman Shirokov looked to have secured the victory for Fabio Capello’s side when he converted a penalty with seven minutes from time but Diskerud’s equalizer saved the USA from defeat.