LA Galaxy striker Gyasi Zardes went 74 minutes as the United States earned a dramatic 2-1 win over 2014 World Cup champions Germany in Cologne on Wednesday.
Mario Götze scored the opener for the Germans but two unanswered goals from Mix Diskerud near the end of the first half, and then Bobby Wood in stoppage time gave the U.S. the win against the reigning world champions. The win comes just five days after the U.S. knocked off another European power, Netherlands in a thrilling 4-3 result.
Initially, the Germans were the dominant side as they needed just 12 minutes to capitalize on some lax defending by the U.S.
With a world of space, Germany’s Patrick Herrmann found Götze unmarked in the penalty area to set up an easy finish to give the European side the lead. The advantage nearly became two in the 33rd minute but U.S. goalkeeper Brad Guzan made a quick reaction save to save an André Schürrle header.
However, Jurgen Klinsmann’s squad found their equalizer less than 10 minutes later when Mix Diskerud brought down a perfectly weighted cross from Michael Bradley, and volleyed it into the far post. Shortly after, Diskerud played distributor as he sent a ball through to Zardes, giving the striker a clear look at goal, but the Galaxy attacker tripped before firing a shot off target.
As the second half wore on, the U.S. began to find their rhythm and press the number one ranked team in the world deep in their own half. At the 74th minute, Klinsmann made a flurry of changes throwing on Jordan Morris, Alfredo Morales, and Wood, and immediately destabilized a ragged German defense.
After the changes, the Americans turned up the pressure as Morris nearly gave the U.S. the lead from distance and then Bradley came inches away from scoring directly off a corner kick. In the 85th minute, Bradley almost struck but saw his attempt from inside the penalty area turned away by German goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler.
The goal finally came in the 87th minute when Brad Evans—aided by a clever dummy by Morris— found Wood with his back to goal. The Hawaii native then turned past his defender and launched a stunning shot into the back of German net to give the U.S. the victory.
The U.S. will now begin preparations for this summer’s 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup in the United States. Zardes was one of three LA Galaxy players named to the provisional squad as he’ll be joined by Alan Gordon and Omar Gonzalez.