US down Turkey 2-1 in World Cup tune-up
Harrison: The United States continued their World Cup preparations with a 2-1 triumph over Turkey on Sunday.
German-born Fabien Johnson, one of US manager Jurgen Klinsmann`s army of young, dual-citizenship footballers, made his first strike for the Stars and Stripes an impressive one, combining with US veteran Michael Bradley for a superb 26th-minute goal that gave the United States a 1-0 lead.
American veteran Clint Dempsey exploited a lapse in the Turkish defense to double the score in the 52nd minute.
Klinsmann took advantage of the match to give Brad Guzan, backup to starting keeper Tim Howard, some time on the pitch.
Guzan was in front of goal for the second period, and when Turkey pulled one goal back in the 90th minute with a penalty by Selcuk Inan.
The match was the United States` second friendly since Klinsmann announced his 23-man squad for the World Cup finals in Brazil -- shocking many by the omission of all-time leading US scorer Landon Donovan.
They defeated Azerbaijan 2-0 last Tuesday and will take on Nigeria in Jacksonville, Florida, next Saturday before departing for Brazil.
The United States are drawn in Group G along with Ghana, who reached the quarter-finals in the 2010 edition, Euro 2012 semi-finalists Portugal and one of the favorites for the trophy -- Klinsmann`s native Germany.
Turkey didn`t qualify for the World Cup, but Klinsmann said they were a talented side that offered a good "benchmark" for his team heading into the global football showcase.
The visitors, who beat World Cup-bound Honduras 2-0 in a friendly in Washington on Thursday, had a few good chances in the opening half as the US defence struggled to get organized.
The best opportunity came in the 12th minute when Nuri Sahin found space 16 yards from goal and fired a low shot off the outside of the post.
But the American attack gathered steam and produced a quality opening goal.
Johnson played the ball to Bradley, whose chip released Johnson into the area and allowed him to fire a shot just inside the left post.
Dempsey made Turkey pay in the second half when they failed to clear Timmy Chandler`s left-wing cross, tapping in from a few yards out.
Turkey did find the net, however, after Geoff Cameron`s handball on his own goal line gave Inan the chance from the spot.