USA cruise to comfortable win over Scotland in Jacksonville

Kenny Miller
Kenny Miller

Craig Levein suffered his heaviest defeat as Scotland boss as the USA raced to a 5-1 victory in Florida.

The kick-off was delayed by more than 20 minutes as a record crowd turned up in Jacksonville to see the hosts make a flying start through Landon Donovan.

Michael Bradley had the Scots two down after 11 minutes before a Geoff Cameron own-goal halved the deficit.

But Donovan struck two more to claim his hat-trick and Jermaine Jones's 70th minute header completed the rout.

The result proved to be ample reward for the majority of the 44,438 fans as they watched the US make the gulf between the two nations appear far greater than the 19 places which separate them in the Fifa World Rankings.

Levein had named an attack-orientated side, led by Cardiff striker Kenny Miller, for the clash at EverBank Field.

Blackpool winger Matt Phillips made his international debut and Wigan's Shaun Maloney earned his first cap since November 2010.

In defence, Andy Webster made his first appearance since the win against the Czech Republic in Levein's first game in charge more than two years ago.

After only three minutes, Donovan - making his 139th appearance for the US - took advantage of sloppy defending by Phil Bardsley to lash high into the net from just inside the six-yard box after seeing an initial effort blocked by Allan McGregor.

The US continued to pile on the pressure and they were celebrating again eight minutes later when Jones found Bradley in plenty of space and he fired an unstoppable shot from 30 yards that left the keeper stranded.

However, the Scots hauled themselves back into the match when they pulled a goal back four minutes later.

Phillips found Bardsley and he picked out Miller with a long cross to the back post whose header was bundled into his own net by Cameron.

The United States still looked dangerous and Jose Torres clipped the crossbar with a free-kick from just outside the box.

The first booking of the match came after 29 minutes when United States skipper and Rangers defender Carlos Bocanegra was cautioned for a challenge on Celtic rival Scott Brown.

Brown was then the victim of a crunching challenge by Jones, who escaped a booking from the referee.

The US were hungry for more goals and were denied by the woodwork four minutes after the restart when Donovan's effort crashed off the post. Terrence Boyd pounced on the rebound but dragged his shot wide of target.

Russell Martin and Steven Whittaker were then both thrown into the action for Scotland but their hopes of salvaging the match were dealt a blow when the home side claimed their third on the hour mark.

Jones was the provider again, this time supplying the pass from the right for Donovan to slot past McGregor from 10 yards.

There was worse to come for Scotland when Donovan completed his hat-trick five minutes later with an effort that came off the inside of the post and into the back of the net, beyond the grasp of McGregor.

Donovan then turned provider with a lovely cross for Jones to bullet a header past the Scotland goalkeeper and make it 5-1 with 20 minutes to go.

With no way back for Scotland, the home side withdrew goalkeeper Tim Howard from the action, with the gloves going to Brad Guzan for the remainder of the match.