The US Soccer Federation has celebrated its 100-year anniversary by taking a big, German international scalp. Germany lost 4-3 in a match that was full-to-bursting with records, both good and bad.
Poor German goalie Marc-Andre ter Stegen let four goals slip in just his third appearance for Germany, taking his personal international tally to 12 conceded in less than 250 minutes. The second was a particularly unfortunate own goal from the talented Borussia Mönchengladbach youngster with an apparent inernational jinx.
The match was a more joyous affair for the US as they hit four goals - including a screamer from captain and two-time scorer Clint Dempsey - to topple Joachim Löw's side 4-3.
The win was likely sweet for US coach Jürgen Klinsmann, Germany's tactician at the 2006 World Cup, against his former assistant Joachim Löw.
Germany wilt in humid D.C.
The hosts started particularly strongly in the notorious summer weather in the US capital, taking the lead on 13 minutes. Striker Jozy Altidore slipped in between central defenders Per Mertesacker and Benedikt Höwedes, both caught asleep at the wheel. The AZ Alkmaar forward volleyed home with aplomb, as ter Stegen threw a glance of recrimination at his defensive helpers.
Three minutes later, the German goalie conceded a howler of an own goal. Ter Stegen misjudged an innocuous back pass and scrambled back towards goal trying to make amends, but the damage was already done.
Germany struggled to create many cast-iron chances in the first half, often looking somewhat static in possession.
"A willingness to run, an intensity, was lacking in the first half," Lukas Podolski, himself hardly a live wire early on, said after the match. Poldi was given a chance to play a more invovled, experimental role in the center of midfield as Löw shuffled his side around at the break.
Twin substitutions, and a Dempsey double
One half-time switch brought an early end to one of the game's little pieces of football history. Löw subbed out identical twins Lars and Sven Bender, starting a Germany match together for the very first time, with Lars unable to build on his double against Ecuador on Wednesday.
One of the half-time entries, defender Heiko Westermann, put Germany back in contention with a thumping header from a 52nd-minute corner. The Hamburg vice-captain seemed all alone in the box, able to pounce on Max Kruse's delivery.
US captain Clint Dempsey, perhaps sensing danger for his side, then took matters into his own hands. The Tottenham midfielder hit two in four minutes, the second a sumptuous curler from distance with his weaker left peg.
German revival, two fresh faces
Striker Miroslav Klose, still one shy of Gerd Müller's record tally of 68 Germany goals, was subbed out late in the second half, forced to wait at least another game to top the international scorers' list.
As if to cancel out the veteran's disappointment, two new Germans entered the international annals, bagging their first ever goals for their country. Max Kruse, playing in only his second German game, hit one that was almost as spectacular as Dempsey's wondergoal - a powerful right-footer from the edge of the box.
If US goalie Tim Howard was unable to prevent Kruse from opening his account, he might have hoped to deny Julian Draxler. The Everton keeper spilled a shot from Sidney Sam, allowing Schalke's teen superstar to pounce on the rebound. Draxler was playing in his sixth international game, still three months before his 20th birthday.