Former Tarheels Help USA Dominate Japan Early, Hold on Late For Victory

Former Tarheel standout Eddie Pope scored his second goal in as many games and fellow alum Kerry Zavagnin played a key role in breaking up the short passing game of a crowded midfield as the USA dominated Japan early, then held on late for a 3-2 victory over their fellow World Cup Finalists Friday night in San Francisco. The final score line does little to detail how dominate the domestic-based US squad was for much of the night. After Pope opened the scoring and Taylor Twellman added 2 assists and a goal for the US who hardly had allowed Japan a shot on goal for 65 minutes, the flow of the game was broken up by a flurry of substitutions from both coaches. After a few tactical changes by Japan, the Blue Samurais pulled back 2 late goals to save some face before a crowd of 37,365 at SBC Park.