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U.S. men

Late Doherty strike sends Ireland to 2-1 decision over Americans in rainy Dublin.

DUBLIN (Wednesday, April 17, 2002) -- A miserable night at Lansdowne Road came to a disappointing end for the United States when defender Gary Doherty headed home a cross in the 83rd minute to give Ireland a 2-1 victory before 39,000 who braved the cold and rain to watch tonightís international friendly.

Both Irish goals, the first coming from midfielder Mark Kinsella in the seventh minute, were the result of lax marking from American defenders.

"Some of the issues defensively were good, but it has to be better," said U.S. coach Bruce Arena. "We need to get our players into camp and clean up some of our mistakes."

Arena will announce his 23-player roster for the 2002 World Cup Monday on the 6 p.m. (ET) edition of ESPN's SportsCenter. The World Cup runs May 31 to Jume 30 in South Kora and Japan.

With time winding down on a field soaked with standing water, Ireland used an American foul as an opportunity to make a substitution. On the restart from 20 yards up the right lank, defender Steve Staunton sent a curling ball to the far post where Doherty slipped behind, then elevated above U.S. right back Tony Sanneh four yards from the left post. Doherty, who plays for Tottenham Hotspur, hammered his header into the corner for the 2-1 advantage, beating his English Premier League teammate Kasey Keller as the goalkeeper scrambled futilely across the goal mouth.

Arena was not pleased with the foul call against left back Greg Vanney, with the contact seemingly minimal, but also was unhappy with the way his team handled the restart, a continuing weakness for the Americans. "Iím certainly disappointed just to give that goal away at the end," Arena said. "I was unhappy about the call, but I still told our guys, regardless of the call, we had to deal with the restart and do a better job. And we didnít."

Reserves Josh Wolff and Eddie Lewis nearly combined to tie the match in the 87th minute when Lewis sent a long ball from the left midfield to the far post. Wolff volleyed the ball out of the air with his right foot back to the left post, forcing goalkeeper Shay Given into a quick reaction save to tip the ball wide.

"I am disappointed that we didn't walk away with a point tonight, because we were in a position to manage the game in the last 10 minutes and didn't do a good job," Arena said. "So give Ireland credit for the second goal and the win. Obviously the conditions were difficult tonight. It was a bit sloppy, and the game did not have much flow to it. But give both teams credit. Despite the conditions, it was a decent game. Both teams fought hard."

The U.S. got off to a bad start when midfielder Rory Delap set overlapping defender Steve Finnan free for a run down a totally unguarded U.S. right flank. Finnan carried along the side of the penalty area, without an American within 10 yards of him, to within five yards of the end line before crossing to Kinsella who, eight yards out, raised his right foot to pound a side volley over helpless U.S. first-half keeper Brad Friedel into the top left corner to make it 1-0.

"I donít think there was a heck of a lot to be taken from the result," Friedel said. "Having said that, I thought their two goals were preventable and itís something we need to work on. The good news is that itís something we can work on. Itís not something thatís going to be hurting us all the time. We can work on it and improve, and we will.

"We showed a lot of character by going down a goal and coming back to get even and had some chances to even take the lead. And even after we fell down 2-1 we still had a couple chances. This team is not going to give up, ever. Thatís one of the qualities that weíve always had, and one weíll take to the grave with us."

In the 31st minute, Friedelís quick anticipation kept the U.S. deficit at one, charging out to the top of his box and sliding to knock a ball off the foot of Damien Duff who had slipped behind defender Eddie Pope to run onto a perfect through pass from midfielder Robbie Keane.

Three minutes later, Pope redeemed himself for his lapse by nailing a header to tie matters at 1-1. With midfielder John OíBrien taking a left-side corner kick, striker Brian McBride ran as a decoy to the near post. The ball went to the middle where Pope outmuscled Delap and put his head to an eight-yarder that found the right corner.

Ireland 2, United States 1

Lineups: Ireland - Shay Given, Steve Finnan (Gary Kelly 46), Ian Harte (Steve Staunton 46), Andy OíBrien (Kenny Cunningham 46), Gary Breen (Gary Dougherty 72), Colin Healy, Rory Delap, Mark Kinsella (Matt Holland 46), Kevin Kilbane (Steven Reid 46), Damien Duff (David Connolly 46), Robbie Keane (Clinton Morrison 83). United States - Brad Friedel (Kasey Keller 46), Jeff Agoos, Eddie Pope, Gregg Berhalter (Greg Vanney 46), Tony Sanneh, Chris Armas, John OíBrien (Eddie Lewis 46), Earnie Stewart (Landon Donovan 46), Claudio Reyna (Frankie Hejduk 72), Brian McBride (Joe-Max Moore 46), Clint Mathis (Josh Wolff 64).

Scoring:
Ireland - Kinsella (Finnan) 7.
United States - Pope (OíBrien) 34.
Ireland - Doherty (Staunton) 83.

Shots: Ireland 6, United States 5. Saves: Ireland 2, United States 3. Corner kicks: Ireland 4, United States 5. Fouls: Ireland 10, United States 13. Offside: Ireland 3, United States 5.

Referee: Philippe Leuba (Switzerland) Attendance: 39,000 at Lansdowne Road in Dublin. Weather: 50 degrees, cool, rainy.

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