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The Stars and Stripes mounted a fine comeback against the European underdogs. Here's how each of the players fared.

SLOVENIA

Handanovic – 6.5 -
One Superman-esque punch was about as much work as the highly-rated Udinese goalkeeper had to do in the first half. It may be a bit harsh to level blame on the custodian for Donovan’s goal, but he shouldn’t have conceded from such a tight angle.

Brecko – 7.5 -
Tested by the pace of the American attacking players but responded well on all counts. One clearance away from his six yard box was excellent, but he complimented that with a strong run and pass combination that helped set-up Slovenia’s second. Made very few errors.

Suler – 6.5 -
The center-back didn’t always cut the most comfortable figure in the middle of the back line, with one especially poor touch nearly giving the Americans a free run on goal towards the end of the first period. Booked after the break for a crude foul on Altidore.

Cesar – 6.5 -
Has been below par at club level over the last 12 months, and such form was displayed when his slip allowed Donovan in to get the USA comeback going. Was largely rugged and competitive. A blatant first half foul on Altidore resulted in a yellow card.

Jokic – 7.5 -
At times he was threatened by the pace of the Americans, but stuck to his task impressively. Enjoyed a fine match down the Slovenian left, but didn’t cover across sufficiently to prevent Bradley’s run for the second goal.

Birsa – 8 -
Easily the best player on the pitch during the first half. Took up intelligent positions that were tough for the opposing defenders to pick up, delivered into the box with quality and scored a brilliantly struck shot. Faded after the break, but the quality of delivery he produced remained high.

Koren – 7 -
Kept things ticking over in the center of the midfield, providing a link between the defence and midfield but also between the midfield and the offense. When he was at his best in the first half, Slovenia enjoyed a strong spell, but was outplayed after the break.

Radosavljevic – 7 -
The central midfielder had a strong first half, but like Koren, faded somewhat after the break. Was happy to sit in front of the defense and mop up danger for the most part. Delivered a couple of excellent passes but his most memorable contribution was a strong shot near the end that Howard parried clear.

Kirm – 6.5 -
Playing on the left side of midfield, Kirm saw plenty of the ball, but he struggled to do a great deal with it in a productive sense. He was certainly a solid enough player and his work-rate was exceptional.

Ljubijankic – 6.5 -
Took a blow to the head in the opening seconds of the game, but didn’t let it affect his performance. Headed over in the first half and was impressively active, though he would probably have appreciated more chances to score. Faded after the pause as Slovenia were forced back.

Novakovic – 7 –
Seemed to have stuck a dagger into the heart of the Americans when he timed a run perfectly to break the offside trap and neatly convert the second goal. Came close on other occasions, nearly getting a toe to a fine Birsa cross.

Substitutes

Pecnik – n/a –
Came on with 16 minutes to go but was withdrawn injured before full-time.

Dedic – n/a –
Got three minutes at the end of the game.

Komic – n/a –
Replaced Pecnik deep into stoppage time.


USA

Howard – 7 -
Didn’t move for the opening goal, though in fairness he looked unsighted. Was left completely exposed for the second. Made a handful of solid second half blocks, including a couple of key saves towards the end.

Cherundolo – 7 -
Supplied the pass that released Donovan for the USA’s opening goal. By no means a spectacular performance from the right-back, though he was steady enough and rarely lost track of Kirm.

DeMerit – 6.5 -
At times in the first half he didn’t look certain, with one missed header particularly sticking in the mind. Definitely improved after the break, standing up to the Slovenian challenge well.

Onyewu – 6 -
Was superb against England, but the Milan center-back was in poor form in the early stages of this match. Dominant in the air, but was a little slow in closing down Birsa for the opening goal and also played Novakovic on for the second. Looked leggy, and that perhaps told as he was sacrificed for another striker late on.

Bocanegra – 6 -
Stretched to breaking point at times by Birsa, who is a player the left-back knows from Ligue 1. Allowed quality crosses to be whipped in, and the USA captain struggled to compensate at the other end of the park. Will certainly have better games.

Dempsey – 6 -
Flitted in and out of the game, never really achieving his best level on the right hand side of midfield. An elbow in the face of Ljubijankic in the very first minute of the match could have seen him walk had the referee been stricter.

Torres – 5 -
The diminutive midfielder was brought into the side to add extra creative flair in the center of the park but had a nightmarish first half. Repeatedly gave the ball away and aside from a good free kick had an afternoon to forget. Withdrawn at half-time.

Bradley – 8 -
Probably the pick of the American side in the first half. Showed good vision with the ball on more than one occasion, sending a dangerous low cross into the box that had to be well dealt with by the Slovenians. After the break he continued to impress, timing his run onto Altidore’s knockdown for the equalizing goal brilliantly.

Donovan – 7 -
Offered glimpses of his talent before the break, but exploded into life soon after the restart with a tremendously struck shot from a highly improbable angle. Might have set up a winner, but Edu’s close-range shot was wrongly disallowed. More of a peripheral figure in this match, but his contribution was match-changing.

Altidore – 7 -
An infrequent threat at the beginning of this match, the quick forward was also impressive after the interval. His speed caused the defense issues, with the likes of Suler often reduced to fouling the attacker to prevent him breaking clear. His knockdown for the equalizer was brilliant.

Findley – 6 -
Though he did offer an infrequent threat in the first half, it was painfully sporadic and it was little surprise when he was withdrawn at half-time.

Substitutes

Edu – 6 –
Came on at half-time and started dreadfully, making errors all over the place. Definitely improved and was unlucky not to have seen his late shot stand.

Feilhaber – 6.5 –
Active all over the field, the industrious midfielder helped the U.S. turn the match around after the break. A little ponderous with his decision making at times.

Gomez – n/a –
Only given ten minutes and had little chance to shine.

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