Last night’s friendly match between the Austria Men’s National Team and the United States ended in a 1-0 win for Austria. A goal in the 33rd minute by striker Marc Janko put Austria in a lead they wouldn’t lose for the rest of the game, much to the disappointment of the small contingent of Americans at the game, and the excitement of the majority Austrian crowd. However, both teams played some excellent football, with U.S. (and Everton) keeper Tim Howard letting in his first goal in 453 minutes of playing time.
The USMNT has played some phenomenal football this year, qualifying for the world cup in Brazil for 2014, so their loss to Austria came as somewhat of a surprise. Although Austria won’t be at Brazil this summer, the tough division they were in certainly gave them some good experience, as they put a lot of pressure on America’s offense, severely limiting their options near the goal.
A bit of controversy did come up during the 17th minute, when a header from U.S. striker Geoff Cameron both touched Austrian player Marko Arnautovic’s hand and appeared to cross the goal line. Although this would’ve given the U.S. an early lead, officials waved off the charges and kept the game going. Despite this, U.S. coach Jurgen Klinnsmann said the event was “no big deal”, as this match mattered little to a team that has dominated most of their matches and already qualified for Brazil, although he did call attention to the lack of goal-line monitoring in this era of technology.
U.S. striker Jozy Altidore seemed unfazed by the loss, stating, “I thought everybody saw who the better team was. We dominated the game” in his comments after the match. However, despite their best attempts, Austria still pulled out the win.