The U.S. Men’s National Team looked destined for another shutout loss on Tuesday, which would have been a third in a row, but some fortuitous bounces, and hustle, helped the Americans salvage a result on a night when they deserved one.
Jordan Morris scored a 79th-minute equalizer, bundling home a ball that floated to him on the back-post after Nick Lima’s hustle led to a blocked clearance off him that floated to Morris.
The result was a 1-1 draw that helped give the USMNT a positive end to the September friendlies after the disappointment of Friday’s 3-0 loss to Mexico.
It was a better overall performance against Uruguay than against Mexico, with the Americans creating more chances, but part of the improved performance could be chalked up to Uruguay’s defensive approach, which was to sit in a low block rather than trying to press the USMNT, which Mexico did successfully.
The lack of defensive pressure helped set the stage for a comfortable night for the young USMNT lineup, which created the first clear chance of the match, when Cristian Roldan forced a reaction save by Fernando Muslera after heading home a cross from Sebastian Lletget in the 11th minute.
Tyler Boyd also had a good look at goal, but couldn’t connect on a cross from Morris despite having a clear look in the 23rd minute.
The Americans also had a good case for a penalty kick late in the first half when Uruguay defender Jose Gimenez appeared to get away with a handball in the penalty area. No penalty was awarded though, leaving the teams to go into halftime with the score 0-0.
Los Angeles FC forward Brian Rodriguez delivering the opening goal for Uruguay with beautiful moment of brilliance just five minutes into the second half, beating Aaron Long with a cutback before blasting his shot past Brad Guzan.
That flash threatened to sentence the Americans to another defeat before Morris salvaged the draw by pouncing on the floating ball in front of goal and jumping to chest it home in the 79th minute.
The USMNT returns to action in October, with a pair of Nations League matches against Cuba (at Audi Field) and Canada (in Toronto).