Action from the friendly between the United States (right) and Ukraine on March 5, 2014, in Larnaca, Cyprus. (Photo: FIFA via Getty Images)
LARNACA, Cyprus – Andriy Yarmolenko and Marko Devic scored in each half to help lift Ukraine to a 2-0 win over the United States in a friendly on Wednesday at Antonis Papadopoulos Stadium.
The match was originally to be played in Kharkiv, Ukraine, but the venue was shifted to Cyprus due to current conditions in the country.
Ukraine jumped in front on 12 minutes when Yarmolenko followed a saved shot from Denis Garmash to beat United States goalkeeper Tim Howard from the edge of the six-yard box.
Garmash split the central defensive pairing of Oguchi Onyewu and John Brooks and was played behind the offside trap to set up the goal.
Ukraine doubled its advantage in the 68th minute on an almost identical goal with Howard making the initial stop following a ball over the top of the defense, only for Devic to put away the rebound.
A majority of the Americans’ chances developed during an early second-half stretch.
Alejandro Bedoya ripped an effort from the left side of the box that was blocked by Artem Fedetskiy for a U.S. corner kick in the 49th minute.
Two minutes later, Geoff Cameron crossed from the right side and connected with Jozy Altidore, whose header sailed over the crossbar. Then, Bedoya fired wide in the 53rd minute after intercepting an errant pass by Ukraine goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov.
Yarmolenko could have added a third in the 73rd minute, but Howard parried away his shot from distance.
Shortly afterwards, Yarmolenko almost punished Brooks for a midfield miscue. The Dynamo Kiev star’s attempt from 45 yards, however, was pushed aside by Howard.
Three minutes from full time, a volley by U.S. substitute Aron Johansson off a corner kick was cleared off the line by Oleh Gusiev.
The match was played on the last FIFA international fixture date before the submission of provisional World Cup rosters.
Next for the U.S. is an encounter with rival Mexico on April 2 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.