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United States 0-0 Serbia: Altidore reaches 100 caps in disappointing stalemate

23:48 GMT 29/01/2017
Darlington Nagbe USA
Jozy Altidore played his 100th senior international game for the United States against Serbia, but it was an otherwise forgettable 0-0 draw

Jozy Altidore claimed his 100th cap as the U.S. national team stuttered to an underwhelming 0-0 draw at home to a weak Serbia side in coach Bruce Arena's return.

Despite Serbia's players having only six senior international appearances among them before the match, the visiting side produced an accomplished display in San Diego, with Altidore failing to make much of an impression as he reached his century of caps at 27 years and 84 days old. Only Landon Donovan has reached the milestone at a younger age.

Altidore reaches 100 caps

Clear-cut opportunities were scarce in a first half which both sides failed to control, though the U.S. was mightily lucky to not concede a penalty for a Greg Garza's challenge on Nikola Cirkovic.

The home side often threatened to create chances in the second half, but the final pass regularly let the U.S. down and ultimately the loudest cheer from the crowd came as Altidore made way in the 74th minute.

Serbia had little difficulty holding on in the end, giving Arena a somewhat underwhelming result in the first match of his second spell in charge after replacing Jurgen Klinsmann.

All of the pre-match focus was unsurprisingly on centurion Altidore, but the home side struggled to use his attributes to its advantage for much of the match.

Serbia was then denied penalty a few moments later, with referee Kevin Morrison only awarding a free kick outside the area when Garza fouled Cirkovic within the perimeter of the 18-yard box.

The home side began to liven up in attack soon after, with Darlington Nagbe particularly threatening.

The left winger came close twice after the half-hour mark, firing agonizingly wide of the right-hand post on both occasions with similar curling efforts.

Altidore was presented with a rare chance right at the start of the second period, but his first touch was heavy and allowed goalkeeper Filip Manojlovic to come out and block his eventual effort.

That failed to usher in a period of American dominance, though, as Serbia kept the host at bay in comfortable fashion, with Altidore remaining a peripheral figure in attack.

The Toronto FC striker was eventually replaced by 2016 MLS Rookie of the Year Jordan Morris, with Altidore receiving a generous ovation by the 20,000 supporters in attendance.

Nick Rimando was called into rare action in stoppage time, before Chris Pontius fired just wide of the bottom-left corner in the last minute as Arena's men were held to a deserved stalemate.