U.S. draw 0-0 with Serbia as Arena returns as coach - Metro US

U.S. draw 0-0 with Serbia as Arena returns as coach

Jan 29, 2017; San Diego, CA, USA; United States forward Jozy Altidore (17) defends Serbia midfielder Aleksandar Palocevic (10) during the first half at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports - RTSXYJP

(Reuters) – Forward Jozy Altidore earned his 100th cap for the United States in a goalless draw with Serbia in a friendly at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego on Sunday in the first match of Bruce Arena’s second stint as U.S. head coach.

Altidore came close to scoring in the second half after being put through into the penalty area by Sacha Kljestan but he was denied by Serbia goalkeeper Filip Manojlovic who advanced swiftly off his line.

U.S. goalkeeper Nick Rimando turned away a 71st-minute strike from Milos Simonovic and a thunderous shot from Lazar Jovanovic in the 89th minute to keep a clean sheet.

Arena, who was previously U.S. head coach from 1998–2006, was appointed for the second time in November last year in place of Juergen Klinsmann, who was fired after a poor start to the North American (CONCACAF) qualifying campaign for the 2018 World Cup.

Sunday’s match gave Arena a chance to assess his American-based players before qualifying resumes in March.

(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in St. Augustine, Florida; Editing by Andrew Both)

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