USMNT edges Peru in first post-Gold Cup outing; Altidore nets pair

Written By Michael Huguenin

A second-half brace from stand-in captain Jozy Altidore led the United States to a 2-1 victory over Peru in Washington, D.C., on Friday night.

In their first match since being dumped from the CONCACAF Gold Cup in the semifinals, Jurgen Klinsmann and the U.S. had to come from behind after halftime, with Altidore striking in the 60th and 68th minutes to secure victory at RFK Stadium.

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Altidore's first came from a penalty he earned himself. The Toronto FC striker's spot kick was saved but, Altidore reacted quickly to turn the rebound into the net.

The 25-year-old's nous in the box was also critical to the winning goal, as he got on the end of Gyasi Zardes' deflected shot to finish off a goalmouth scramble.

The U.S. had the better of the opening minutes but Peru struck first, with Daniel Chavez turning in a pocket of space in front of the home side's defense and unleashing a shot that looped off Omar Gonzalez, over goalkeeper Brad Guzan and into the net.

Half-chances continued to present themselves for Klinsmann's men but it was not until the 38th minute that Pedro Gallese was forced into his first save, with Jermaine Jones surging from midfield and shooting from 25 yards with Peru's goalkeeper tipping the ball over the bar.

The resultant corner fell at the feet of John Brooks but his effort was too high.

The U.S. had lost its past two matches — 2-1 to Jamaica and on penalties against Panama in the third-place playoff at the Gold Cup — but took a step toward avoiding a third consecutive defeat when Altidore won a penalty in the 58th minute.

A long throw into the box found Altidore, who cleverly flicked the ball over his opponent before being dragged back.

The striker, standing in for regular captain Michael Bradley, volleyed Gallese's initial save into the net.

Peru almost regained the lead in the 67th minute with Guzan impressively parrying Chavez's header from a free kick and smothering Edison Flores' follow-up effort with his legs, while the U.S. made the visitors pay a minute later with Altidore tapping home the winner.

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