Edson Buddle's first national team goal was a beauty, and he didn't waste much time scoring a second.
Starting in place of injured striker Jozy Altidore, Buddle scored two goals in helping the U.S. men's national team score a 3-1 victory against Australia in South Africa on Saturday.
Buddle belted the match's opening goal in the fourth minute, converting an Australia turnover before blasting a shot from 18 yards out. Australia tied the score on a Tim Cahill finish, but Buddle gave the Americans the lead for good when he headed home a perfect cross from Steve Cherundolo.
Buddle, Robbie Findley and Clarence Goodson all earned starts, while Jozy Altidore missed the match due to an ankle injury suffered during the week. Oguchi Onyewu was a surprise bench player, coming on for the final 30 minutes of the match.
Second-half substitute Herculez Gomez scored in his second straight appearance, finishing off a quality pass from Landon Donovan in the final moments of the match to provide the insurance goal to make it 3-1.
Steve Cherundolo enjoyed a stellar performance in solidifying his place as the team's starting right back. Michael Bradley also enjoyed a strong outing.
The central defense pairing of Goodson and Jay DeMerit had shaky moments and didn't look completely secure as a first-choice tandem.
Findley was active up top, but he also squandered a handful of chances, including a close-range effort that he hit off the crossbar.
While the United States avoided any serious injuries, the team didn't leave Saturday's match completely unscathed. Midfielder Ricardo Clark limped off with what appeared to be a left hamstring injury.
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