Mon, Oct 11, 2010 - Page 18 News List

Poland battle back twice to grab draw in Chicago

Reuters, CHICAGO

Poland, co-hosts of Euro 2012, battled back twice for a 2-2 draw with the US in a fiercely fought friendly international at Soldier Field on Saturday.

Jozy Altidore put the US ahead in the 13th minute when he raced on to a delightful through ball from debutant midfielder Jermaine Jones.

Jones, who was born in Germany and has spent his entire career in the Bundesliga, lofted a left-footed pass over the top to Altidore, who showed a cool touch to slot home.

Poland, who are now without a win in seven games, then put a shaky looking US defense under pressure and got back on level terms on the half-hour.

Stuart Holden made a mess of an attempted clearance, slicing the ball high into his own penalty area, where Oguchi Onyewu failed to control and Ludovic Obraniak was alert to set up Adam Matuszczyk, who fired past Tim Howard.

The US got back in front though seven minutes after the break when Holden made amends for his mistake with an expertly struck corner which Onyewu met with a firm header.

Holden, Clint Dempsey and Jones were lively in midfield for the US, but Poland always looked dangerous on the counter-attack. It was a high-tempo game and one played in a lively atmosphere, with a large turnout from Chicago’s huge Polish population.

Those fans had cause for celebration in the 73rd minute when Jakub Blaszczykowski, who plays for Borussia Dortmund, made it 2-2 with a lovely diagonal shot with the outside of his right foot that curled past Howard.

The US nearly got a winner in the last minute when they almost scrambled home from a corner that ricocheted around Poland’s penalty area.



Chile coach Marcelo Bielsa gave his support to defender Roberto Cereceda by fielding him in a friendly on Saturday, despite the fact he has tested positive for cocaine and could be suspended for two years.

Cereceda, whose club Colo Colo were notified on Friday by the South American Football Confederation of the positive result of a test taken on Aug. 17, opened the scoring with a penalty in Chile’s 2-0 win away to the United Arab Emirates.

“What I generally recommend to myself is that with anyone going through a moment of weakness, you have to double the closeness, the affection and the company,” Bielsa told a press conference in Abu Dhabi. “Today, I was told a very illustrative phrase, something like there are no saints without a past and no sinners without a future. As I adhere to that principle, I’m right at Roberto’s side.”

Cereceda scored in the fifth minute and midfielder Pedro Morales added another goal in the 37th minute of the match in Abu Dhabi.

Chile played the last 13 minutes a man short after defender Sebastian Toro came off with a head wound and there were no more substitutes available in a small squad.

Bielsa sent four players home on Thursday after their club Universidad de Chile criticized their call-up, despite the fact that one of the conditions for renewing his contract after the World Cup was complete autonomy on player selection.

Cereceda’s doping test was taken after a match in the Copa Sudamericana, South America’s equivalent of the Europa League.

Chile play Oman in Muscat tomorrow.

Other international friendly results on Saturday:

‧ Taiwan 7, Macau 1

‧ Saudi Arabia 4, Uzbekistan 0

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