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USMNT, sans injured Pulisic, lose in WC warm-up

The United States got their World Cup preparations off to a poor start as they fell to a 2-0 defeat against Japan in Dusseldorf, Germany, in the first of two warm-up games before they travel to Qatar.

Daichi Kamada scored in the 24th minute while Kaoru Mitoma added another late on to leave manager Gregg Berhalter with plenty of issues.

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Berhalter’s team were without their talisman Christian Pulisic after it was announced before kickoff that the Chelsea forward had sustained a knock in training with the national side.

Japan took the lead in the 24th minute after sloppy play from the U.S., with Hidemasa Morita laying off for an unmarked Kamada to slot home. The goal was initially ruled offside but eventually stood after a VAR check.

Berhalter introduced a host of substitutes in the second half but they were unable to help the U.S. click into gear, while Arsenal goalkeeper Matt Turner had to be alert on a number of occasions to keep Japan from extending their lead.

Mitoma curled home Japan’s second goal in the 88th minute to condemn the U.S. to a worrying defeat before the World Cup.

 

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