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Well, it was a beautiful half of soccer for Team USA. Unfortunately, they couldn’t defend against the Brazilian onslaught for two 45-minute intervals — relying on Tim Howard’s brilliance a little too much, perhaps? Nevertheless, the second goal scored by Landon Donovan was a thing of beauty. Off the top of my head, it might be one of the best goals I’ve seen scored by Team USA; although, my love for counter-attack soccer undoubtedly contributes here. Still, the goal had it all:

- Fantastic passing

- Great use of space

- The speed with which it happened

- Donovan’s great finish

There is one confounding aspect, however — why couldn’t Team USA spring the same kind of counter attack again? Especially when you consider Brazil being in all-out attack mode in the second half? Granted, the US wasn’t defending as well, allowing their opponents to essentially hold on the ball, creating chances for Luis Fabiano time and time again. If you allow an explosive team like Brazil to pick you apart in such a manner, it’s only a matter of time before they break the seal.

Unfortunately for the United States, when the seal was indeed broken — 45 seconds into the second half — an avalanche followed.