Christian Pulisic scored as the United States stayed unbeaten under Gregg Berhalter thanks to a 1-1 international friendly draw against Chile.
Pulisic opened the scoring inside four minutes for USA, who had won three successive matches without conceding a goal since Berhalter’s appointment, with a sublime scooped effort before suffering an apparent muscle injury.
And USA shared the spoils in an entertaining encounter on Tuesday after Oscar Opazo’s ninth-minute equaliser at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston.
Berhalter said he would makes changes and he did just that with seven alterations to the starting XI. One was enforced after Schalke midfielder Weston McKennie suffered an ankle injury against Ecuador, though Borussia Dortmund star Pulisic was named in the line-up.
It was a lively and open start to proceedings, with USA needing just four minutes to break the deadlock against the South American visitors.
A delightful one-touch pass from Gyasi Zardes sent Pulisic through and the Chelsea-bound star scooped the ball over Chile goalkeeper Gabriel Arias – becoming the youngest USA international to double figures with his 10th goal.
Not since 1983-84 under Alkis Panagoulias had USA kept four consecutive clean sheets to start a coaching tenure and Berhalter’s quest to tie the record was ended by Opazo.
Responding well to falling behind, Opazo – unmarked at the back post – fired a powerful shot across Ethan Horvath and into the far corner of the net for his maiden international goal in the ninth minute.
Both teams looked threatening but USA were dealt a blow 10 minutes before half-time when Pulisic was substituted hobbling off the ground.
Chile gained control as the game wore on but Zardes almost restored USA’s lead 10 minutes into the second half after getting through on goal and creating a chance out of nothing, but his shot went over the bar.
What does it mean? USA yet to taste defeat
Berhalter’s 100 per cent record as head coach came to a halt but the rebuilding Americans continue to move forward. They were forced to play on the counter against an impressive Chile side and managed to make it four games without a loss.
Zardes cementing his spot
The only player to play in every match since Berhalter’s appointment, Zardes impressed again on Tuesday. The Columbus Crew forward was a nuisance throughout, while he produced the moment of skill to unlock Chile and tee up Pulisic in the first half.
After McKennie was carried off on a stretcher in Orlando, USA star Pulisic was also forced from the field. Pulisic went down and received treatment before being replaced by Sebastian Lletget. It may be precautionary but USA and Dortmund will be sweating over his fitness.