It took plenty of tries, but the USMNT's Jozy Altidore finally put one by Canada goalkeeper Maxime Crépeau in the 89th-minute. After sending shot after shot at the Canadian goal, Altidore finally connected just a couple of minutes before the end, getting his head on an Ethan Finlay cross from the left wing.
The goal followed around 20 minutes of consistent attack from the US, forcing Canada to bunker even more than they usually do and putting Crépeau to work over and over again. Before that period, it had been a sloppy and disjointed first 50 minutes or so for the Americans as they attempted to coalesce despite playing in unfamiliar positions.
Jermaine Jones, almost always a center midfielder with club and country, was put at center-back, defensive midfielder Kellyn Acosta of FC Dallas played left back (hey, anybody can play left back, right?), usual center-back Steve Birnbaum played right back, and multiple other players had to adapt to new places. As always with coach Jurgen Klinsmann, the result was unsatisfactory.
The score remained 0-0 for such a long time mostly due to the US's inability to efficiently connect. Too many times, passes went array and possession was lost unnecessarily because of the disconnect felt throughout the team. That prompted substitutions early in the second half from Klinsmann to try and add more dynamic players to the mix.
Darlington Nagbe, Brandon Vincent and Jerome Kiesewetter entered shortly after the second half began, immediately sparking more attack. Canada's offense was basically non-existent for the majority of the contest, so the pressure was on the home team to put one on the board and end the streak of scoreless games between the two rivals.
Despite the pressure, nothing came to fruition for the United States until Altidore's late winner. Crépeau was a big reason for that, as he came up big multiple times for the Canucks.
Altidore had this to say about his winning goal:
"As a player you kind of find those kind of moments where you say 'this is the one,'" he told Fox Sports after the game when asked about the goal. He would also go on to say about the match as a whole, "Sometimes the soccer won’t be perfect, but we have to put a little more into it at times."
He put a little more into it, and now the U.S. have two straight friendly wins to start the 2016 campaign.
Here is the #USMNT's starting lineup for #USAvCAN. pic.twitter.com/H2pNBibL5X— U.S. Soccer (@ussoccer) February 6, 2016
Brandon Vincent on for Kellyn Acosta (HT), Darlington Nagbe on for Lee Nguyen (61'), Jerome Kiesewetter on for Gyasi Zardes (61'), Wil Trapp on for Mix Diskerud (77'), Ethan Finlay on for Jordan Morris (88'), Perry Kitchen on for Jozy Altidore (90+2')
#CANMNT Starting XI #CanadaRED pic.twitter.com/9Jh1SPuLIu— Canada Soccer (@CanadaSoccerEN) February 6, 2016
Doneil Henry on for Nikolas Ledgerwood (HT), Issey Nakajima-Farran on for Kianz Froese (HT), Kyle Bekker on for Wandrille Lefevre (HT), Iain Hume on for Tesho Akindele (72'), Sam Adekugbe on for Cyle Larin (78'), Jamar Dixon on for Marcel de Jong (85'),