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Altidore leads USMNT to 2-1 victory over Nigeria

Jozy Altidore ends his scoring drought just before heading to Brazil.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The US Men's National Team travelled to Jacksonville where they took on Nigeria in their last International Friendly before heading to Brazil for the World Cup. Houston Dynamo midfielder Brad Davis started the game on the bench as did former Dynamo player Chris Wondolowski. Former Dynamo defender and current Stoke City player Geoff Cameron started the match for the USMNT. The match would be the 100th cap for US goalkeeper Tim Howard.

Both teams spent the start of the game feeling each other out. Each had chances at goal but nothing came of them as the two went back and forth. The USMNT bounced around with their formations trying to find just the right mix. They found better possession after switching from a 4-4-2 to a 4-2-3-1.

Finally, Jozy Altidore not only got the US on the scoreboard first but he also broke his scoring drought. The US put together a beautiful passing sequence that Nigeria couldn’t seem to break down. Fabian Johnson got the ball to Altidore who just had to tap it in from about four feet away to put the US up 1-0.

Nigeria came close in the 44th minute when Ambrose sent in a header off a corner kick. As the ball headed towards the net Timmy Howard sprang into action and got to the post to deny the Nigerian the goal.

As stoppage time wound down in the first half Clint Dempsey took a shot from distance but was denied by the keeper.

Nigeria started the second half out stronger denying the US’s passing attempting, but once again the US began to break down the Nigerian defense. Michael Bradley set a perfect pass to Clint Dempsey leaving him to head for goal but he was denied by the goalkeeper.

Later, Bradley sent a beautiful long ball to Altidore who ran around the defender on him and sent the ball in off his right foot. It went screaming past the goalkeeper to stretch the US’s lead to 2-0.

A penalty would be awarded to Nigeria after Matt Besler would take down the attacking Nigerian player later in the match. Moses would take the penalty kick and Tim Howard would go the wrong as it went right into the back of the net closing the gap to 2-1.

But after three minutes of stoppage time the US was able to hang on for the win.

The team now heads to Brazil to take on group G in the World Cup.