Bobby Wood tallied his 11th international goal for the U.S. (Andy Mead/YCJ Photo)
CARY, N.C. — Bobby Wood scored in the first half to lead the United States to a 1-0 victory in a physical international friendly against Paraguay at WakeMed Stadium Tuesday night.
It was the Americans’ first international win since being eliminated from the World Cup Oct. 10.
Wood connected on a penalty kick in the 45th minute after Red Bulls midfielder Tyler Adams was taken down in the box by goalkeeper Gatito Fernández. Wood then slotted his attempt to the right of the keeper for what turned out to be the lone goal of the match and the 11th score of his international career.
It was Wood’s first goal since last August.
Goalkeeper Zach Steffen recorded the shutout. in the match between two teams that will not attend this summer’s World Cup in Russia.
Seven yellow cards were handed out, five to the South American side.
“It was great for us,” U.S. captain Wil Trapp told FS1 immediately after the match. “To come out here against a good team and win, it was very important for us.
“We talked about it all week going into the game fearless and express yourself and I think that’s what we did.
“I think the game was decent for our performance but you can always be better.”
The U.S. tallied the lone goal in the match on the cusp of halftime thanks to the collective work of Adams, Marky Delgado and Wood. After winning the ball in the defensive end, Delgado lofted a pass through the midfield behind the Paraguay back line to find the speedy Adams.
The 19-year-old midfielder took two touches before cutting to the left around Fernandez, who hauled him down as referee Kimbell Ward poinedt to the spot. On the ensuing penalty kick, Wood calmly stepped up and registered his 11th career international goal by slotting a low effort to the right of Fernandez.
Bobbbbbbbbbbbbbbby! 🇺🇸Bobby Wood nets the #USMNT's first goal of 2018 after Marky Delgado and Tyler Adams draw the PK.
Posted by U.S. Soccer on Tuesday, March 27, 2018
Video courtesy of the U.S. Soccer Facebook page
The U.S. continued to show well on the other side of the break, most notably earning a free kick just outside the area thanks to DeAndre Yedlin’s run in the 65th minute. Saief’s left-footed attempt curled to the right post, but Fernandez saved it.
Paraguay’s best chance came 10 minutes later when Junior Alonso gained space on the left and crossed for Hernan Perez at the back post. He nodded his effort back across goal where it trickled just past the left post.
Midfielder Tim Weah, the son of former Liberian great George Weah, replaced Delgado in the 86th minute. The 18-year-old attacker became the first player born in the 2000s to earn an appearance for the U.S. men’s national side.
The team will return to action for three matches in May and June. The squad faces off with Bolivia in a Memorial Day clash May 28 at Talen Energy Stadium in Chester, Pa. (6:30 p.m. ET; FS1, UniMas & UDN). The USMNT heads to Europe to take on Republic of Ireland June 2 in Dublin June 2 and France in Lyon June 9. Broadcast information for both matches will be announced at a later date.
USA – Bobby Wood 45th minute
USA: 12-Zack Steffen; 2-DeAndre Yedlin, 3-Matt Miazga, 5-Cameron Carter-Vickers, 19-Jorge Villafaña; 20-Wil Trapp; 6-Darlington Nagbe (9-Cristian Roldan, 90+2), 8-Marky Delgado (11-Tim Weah, 86), 4-Tyler Adams, 10-Kenny Saief (23-Rubio Rubin, 67); 7-Bobby Wood (18-Andrija Novakovich, 77)
Substitutes not used: 1-Bill Hamid, 13-Erik Palmer-Brown, 14-Antonee Robinson, 15-Eric Lichaj, 17-Shaq Moore
Head coach: Dave Sarachan
PAR: 1-Roberto Fernandez; 5-Bruno Valdez, 4-Fabian Balbuena, 3-Gustavo Gomez, 13-Junior Alonso; 16-Cristian Riveros (6-Richard Ortiz, 65), 8-Rodrigo Rojas (10-Derlis Gonzalez, 83), 21-Oscar Romero (19-Cecilio Dominguez, 80), 7-Nestor Camacho (17-Hernan Perez, 54), 23-Miguel Almiron; 9-Federico Santander
Substitutes not used: 12-Alfredo Aguilar, 2-Juan Patiño, 11-Angel Romero, 14-Luis de la Cruz, 15-Richard Sanchez, 18-Roberto Ovelar
Head coach: Gustavo E. Morinigo
Stats Summary: USA / PAR
Shots: 6 / 11
Shots on Goal: 3 / 3
Saves: 3 / 2
Corner Kicks: 5 / 1
Fouls: 15 / 19
Offside: 5 / 1
PAR – Roberto Fernandez (caution) 44th minute
PAR – Junior Alonso (caution) 53
PAR – Rodrigo Rojas (caution) 56
USA – DeAndre Yedlin (caution) 62
USA – Cameron Carter-Vickers (caution) 81
PAR – Federico Santander (caution) 90
PAR – Richard Ortiz (caution) 90+1
Referee: Kimbell Ward (SKN)
Assistant Referee 1: Graeme Browne (SKN)
Assistant Referee 2: Ainsley Rochard (TRI)
4th Official: Daneon Parchment (JAM)
Man of the Match: Wil Trapp