Christian Pulisic gave the USA a 2-0 lead with his 59th minute penalty kick. (Photo courtesy of Chelsea)

BELFAST, Northern Ireland – The U.S. men’s national team finished off a successful European trip, defeating Northern Ireland, 2-1, National Football Stadium at Windsor Park in an international friendly Sunday.

Gio Reyna scored off a deflected goal in the first half and Christian Pulisic added a penalty kick in the final half for the Americans.

The victory extended the USMNT’s unbeaten streak to nine games (8-0-1).

It also was the USA’s first win against a European side in the latter’s home venue since a 2-1 win over Germany in Cologne June 10, 2015.

The Americans recorded a 4-1 win over Jamaica in Austria Thursday.

U.S. head coach Gregg Berhalter deployed a 3-4-3 formation, using three center backs, a pair of middle central midfielders and two wing backs. Those three backs in the middle turned were current Red Bull Aaron Long and former players with the MLS club, Tim Ream and Matt Miazga.

“We knew it was going to be difficult dealing with their first balls,” Berhalter said. “We know they’ve played with two strikers and that one guy, the one player, really difficult to win the first ball from. So, we wanted some protection for second balls. Second thing is, looking at their shape, we felt like we could exploit some spaces with our midfield configuration that where we had it withh basically four guys in midfield. The other thing is that we think it’s important for us to continue to challenge this group. It was a good opportunity to do so tonight.”

The USMNT trained eight minutes with that formation. Prior to the game, Berhalter and his staff showed the team the video of its practice.

“When you see the game, you can see that there were good parts but we still have a lot of work to go in the spacing right to really hurt the opponent,” Berhalter said. We had some really good positions, but weren’t weren’t able to hurt the opponent enough. But overall, I’m proud of the guys that were they took in that that information that I’m also happy the way they executed on it.”

Berhalter added that he wanted to use that system because several players on the team, Antonee Robinson (Fulham), Sergio Dest (Barcelona), Reyna (Borussia Dortmund) and Pulisic (Chelsea) play in similar positions for their club teams.

Reyna lifted the visitors into the lead with his second international goal as his 24-yard shot deflected off a defender and into the middle of the net past the goalkeeper on the half hour.

After he was taken down in the penalty area, Pulisic stepped up and calmly slotted home the ensuing penalty to the right side of the net for a 2-0 lead in the 59th minute.

Daryl Dike, who came on in the second half, had three close encounters in the waning minutes, but was unable tot find the net.

The hosts made it interesting in the end as Niall McGinn tallied in the 88th minute