EDGAR ZUNIGA - Saturday, November 17, 2007
Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images
Spector holds off Teko Modise
A solitary goal from defender Steve Cherundolo was enough to earn the US their first-ever win on African soil in three attempts over South Africa in Johannesburg.
With the win, USA finish the year on a positive note, with two consecutive wins away from home, after having defeated Switzerland by the same score almost exactly a month ago.
Maurice Edu, earning his second straight start, set up the Cherundolo goal, an eight-yard screamer from a tight angle which beat South African goalkeeper Rowen Fernandez high to the near post.
Bafana Bafana made a tremendous surge in the second, outshooting the US 10-0, however they were unable to find the net or generate any serious threats. After having recorded the first half shutout, US keeper Tim Howard was replaced by Brad Guzan, who withstood any dangerous challenges.
Guzan was joined by Danny Califf and Jonathan Spector in the second half, who replaced Carlos Bocanegra and Cherundolo.
New York forward Josmer Altidore finally made his long-awaited international debut in the 65th minute, subbing in for Dempsey. Also getting a taste of action were Sacha Kljestan and Jonathan Bornstein, who were both subbed in late.
The US finishes 2007 with a 12-1-5 record and will now take time off before facing Sweden on January 19 at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California. The game versus Sweden will the 500th official game for the US since their first international game in 1916.