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Weston McKennie Leads USA to Draw vs. Portugal in 2017 Friendly

The United States earned a hard-fought 1-1 draw with Portugal at the Estadio Dr. Magalhaes Pessoa in Leiria on Tuesday in a friendly clash that could have gone either way.  Young midfielder Weston McKennie put the U.S. ahead 21 minutes into the first half after a brilliant piece of solo skill and a very cool finish. Portugal equalised before the break through Vitorino Antunes after a howler from United States goalkeeper Ethan Horvath. There were chances for both sides in the second half, but the two under-strength outfits eventually settled for a draw. U.S. Soccer and Portugal both provided their lineups on Twitter: An even opening period yielded few dangerous positions from either side until Kellyn Acosta turned just wide from the near post after an exchange with Daniel Williams in the 19th minute. Two minutes later, the visitors then had the ball in the net after wonderful work from 19-year-old McKennie, who tucked a fine finish into the corner after cutting into the box with a lovely drop of the shoulder to beat Ricardo Ferreira. Barely 10 minutes later, though, a horrible mistake from 22-year-old goalkeeper Horvath saw Portugal equalise through Antunes. The left-back launched a volleyed but unthreatening cross into the box that Horvath was under no pressure to simply catch, but the youngster let the ball through his legs and into the net. Goal's Thomas Floyd put a positive spin on the mistake: Horvath responded well and denied Bruma an opportunity to put Portugal in the lead as he dived at the winger's feet late in the first half. Portugal goalkeeper Beto was then called into action soon after the break as Tyler Adams forced a fingertip save before McKennie rattled the crossbar with a header in the 54th minute. Goncalo Guedes was denied by the woodwork after a crashing effort from the right of the box 22 minutes from time. And Beto produced one of the moments of the match when an extraordinary piece of improvisation stopped Cameron Carter-Vickers turning home from inside the six-yard box in the 72nd minute. The 19-year-old had ghosted beyond the defence at a free-kick and needed just to tap the bouncing ball into the net, but Beto got there first with an acrobatic half-volley of his own. An entertaining game eventually petered out as both sides settled for a creditable draw. Read more World Football news on


Published By: Bleacher Report - Tuesday, 14 November, 2017

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