White jerseys quickly became brown on the drenched pitch in Estadio Cuscatlán as the USMNT drew 1-1 against El Salvador in the CONCACAF Nations League.
As expected, the 100% precipitation in San Salvador roughened playing conditions for both nations, making passing accuracy and build-up play tough to come by.
The U.S. had the first big chance of the game after a broken set-piece play in the 24th minute. After a cross to the back post was cleared, USMNT midfielder Yunus Musah came up and fired a shot with his left boot but El Salvador goalkeeper Mario González recovered just in time to parry the ball over the crossbar:
The opening goal came just about 10 minutes later. This time it was El Salvador that sent a cross to the back post, but it went too far. Left-back Alexander Larín came up to receive the ball and somehow put the ball in the back of the net from a tough angle:
It marked Larín’s sixth international goal, and whether it was intended to be a cross can be debated. Still, it was one that Nottingham Forest goalie Ethan Horvath should’ve reacted to. Right-back Reggie Cannon also positioned himself poorly to allow Larín’s ball in instead of pivoting his hips to block the angle.
Needing a spark heading into the second half, head coach Gregg Berhalter took off Haji Wright and Brenden Aaronson for Jesús Ferreira, who scored four against Grenada, and Weston McKinnie. Those changes nearly paid off moments into the 50th minute with McKinnie finding Ferreira on a through ball, but the shot was cleared off the line by El Salvador:
The U.S. continued to dominate possession and create chances, though a goal evaded the squad. Nineteen-year-old Musah produced another key opportunity when he went on a big run from past midfield to the penalty box, but his 1-2 play with Timothy Weah on the right flank resulted in a blocked shot:
As the Americans continued to push, their chances of equalizing dropped hard after substitute winger Paul Arriola was handed a red card after a challenge in El Salvador’s penalty box. There was controversy on whether it should’ve just been a yellow card given that the tackle wasn’t harsh, but there was no VAR in this game for the play to be reviewed:
But the playing field was leveled when Ronald Gómez appeared to collide with Musah, who was looking to go clear against El Salvador’s goalie. Gómez was sent off on a red card, making it a 10-v-10 affair to close out the match:
Then, after a lengthy 90 minutes, substitute forward Jordan Morris secured the equalizer the U.S. were so desperately searching for after Christian Pulisic put in the cross:
No one found the winner after six minutes of stoppage time, so the U.S. – which had six shots on target – still trails El Salvador by one point in League A Group D of the Nations League with a game in hand.
Next up for the USMNT is two international friendlies – opponents not confirmed yet – slated for September, which will be the nation’s final two contests before the 2022 FIFA World Cup gets underway on Nov. 21.