Donovan's penalty kick provides 1-1 draw with Denmark.
CARSON, Calif. (January 18, 2004) -- The United States men and Denmark traded penalty kicks, playing a 1-1 draw before 10,461 at Home Depot Center this afternoon.
In the Americans' first match in nearly six months, striker Landon Donovan tied the match in the 76th minute.
The U.S. dominated much of the action, outshooting Denmark 16-4, coming up empty on a couple of near misses in the second half, including a shot by Donovan that caromed off a post.
Goalkeeper Jonny Walker made two saves in his first-ever appearance for the U.S.
"The Danish team were well organized and difficult to break down. However, I think during the game we were still able to create half a dozen pretty good chances, so that part I was pleased with," U.S. coach manager Bruce Arena said. "It was a difficult call (that led to Denmark's) penalty kick, and our guys did a solid job of hanging in there and putting pressure on them in the second half. It was a good opportunity for us to see some new players as we continue to move forward and try to put together a strong team for qualifying."
Both penalty kicks were awarded on marginal calls by referee Antonio Rodriguez Mendoza. The call against Denmark, leading to Donovan's equalizer, appeared non-existent.
In the 26th minute, Denmark forward Thomas Roll-Larsen sent a right-side corner kick just past the penalty spot. U.S. defender Eddie Pope jostled with Morten Wieghorst with the shoving by the two team captains seemingly equal with neither gaining the advantage. Mendoza saw it differently and called the foul, issuing Pope a yellow card.
After a minute of arguing, Roll-Larsen put his side ahead 1-0, drilling his PK into the top left corner, well beyond the reach of an extended Walker.
The second half was dominated by the U.S., which applied pressure on numerous occasions, but was thwarted by goalkeeper Peter Skov-Jensen.
In the 70th minute, after an Eddie Pope slide tackle prevented a dangerous attempt from Denmark, Walker immediately distributed the ball upfield midfielder DaMarcus Beasley who carried forward for about 50 yards before hitting Donovan on a perfect run behind the defense. With no defenders nearby, Donovan dodged Skov-Jensen only to have his shot from a sharp angle hit left goal post.
Four minutes later, Donovan intercepted an errant clearance from Skov-Jensen, moved around him and another defender before hitting his shot high over the bar from eight yards.
In the 76th minute, Denmark defender Per Niesen was called for pushing U.S. defender Chris Albright as an American cross sailed through the box, though there seemed to be little to no contact between the pair.
Donovan calmly hit his penalty low inside the right post for his 15th international goal and a 1-1 tie.
The U.S. might have opened the scoring in the 13th minute, but after Donovan had done well to keep a misplayed clearance alive in the box by beating Skov-Jensen beating the ball, American striker Ante Razov's rebound effort skipped just wide left of an uprotected net. Razov had another chance in the 20th minute, but a left-foot volley taken off his chest missed from 10 yards out.
Denmark's only dangerous attempt of the second half came in the 66th minute when Roll-Larsen's volley from six yards out was easily snared by Walker.
In addition to Walker, midfielders John Wolyniec and Kerry Zavagnin made their first international appearances, bringing to 52 the number of players to earn their first cap under Arena.
"Walker, in his first game for us, played well in the back," Arena said. "Eddie Pope was pretty solid. Chris Albright had a good game, as did (Bobby) Convey and Beasley on their side of the field. Landon Donovan had a terrific game and was a little unlucky to not get a goal in the run of play."
Pope was the only American cautioned compared to six yellow cards handed to Denmark with two going to reserve midfielder Nicolai Stokholm who was resultantly sent off in the 84th minute.
The U.S. next travels to Amsterdam to face the Netherlands February 18 at Amsterdam ArenA.
United States 1, Denmark 1
Lineup: United States - Jonny Walker, Chris Albright (Frankie Hejduk 79), Eddie Pope (captain), Nick Garcia, Bobby Convey, Steve Ralston (Chris Klein 62), Richard Mulrooney (Kerry Zavagnin 71), Chris Armas (John Wolyniec 88), DaMarcus Beasley, Ante Razov (Josh Wolff 62), Landon Donovan. Denmark - Peter Skov-Jensen, Ulrik Vinzents, Per Nielsen, Martin Albrechtsen (Bo Svensson 58), Asbjorn Sennels, Martin Retov (Nicolai Stokholm 47+), Morten Wieghorst - capatin (David Rasmussen 74), Morten Bisgaard (Jan Kristiansen 79), Michael Silberbauer (Steffen Hojer 64), Thomas Roll-Larsen, Tommy Bechmann (Soren Borg 58)
Shots: United States 16, Denmark 4. Saves: United States 2, Denmark 5. Corner kicks: United States 5, Denmark 3 Fouls: United States 13, Denmark 19. Offside: United States 1, Denmark 0. Yellow card cautions: United States - Pope 26; Denmark - Albrechtsen 7, Bechmann 32, Stokholm 46, Vinzents 74, Nielsen 75. Red card ejection: Stokholm (second yellow card) 84.
Referee: Antonio Rodriguez Mendoza (Mexico). Assistant referees: Jose Ramirez Diaz (Mexico), Raul Osorno (Mexico). Attendance: 10,461 at Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. Weather: 57 degrees, overcast.