The United States was no match for Belgium as Jurgen Klinsmann’s side lost 4-2 in an international friendly in Cleveland on Wednesday evening.
Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke led the way for the Belgians with two goals while Marouane Fellaini and Kevin Mirallas added one each.
Geoff Cameron and Clint Dempsey scored for the Americans who conceded three goals in the second half to let the game slip away.
It was the first time the U.S. had let in more than three goals during Klinsmann’s tenure but he tried to take some positives from the match.
“It was a negative result but an important game as it gets us on our toes,” Klinsmann said. “I would rather play Belgium 1o more times than El Salvador a thousand times. That is how you learn.
“Belgium’s short passing capability makes you run and we lost far too many balls too early and too easy.”
The visitors flew out of the starting gates and opened the scoring just five minutes into the contest when Mirallas pounced on a loose ball and chipped it over Tim Howard.
However, the United States fought back and equalized in the 22nd minute when Cameron was left all alone at the back post and nodded in with minimal fuss.
Belgium thought it had retaken the lead at the half-hour mark but Roman Lukaku was judged to be offside. It was a stark warning for the U.S. who went into the break lucky to be on level terms.
Some comical defending by the Americans gifted the visitors the lead as Benteke easily tapped in from close range in the 56th minute.
The Belgians extended their advantage moments later when Fellaini was first to the ball and headed past Brad Guzan, who had replaced Howard.
It was game, set and match when Benteke made it 4-1 with his second goal of the evening after some more lackadaisical defending from the U.S.
Dempsey scored a consolation goal for the hosts in the 80th minute but they could get no closer than that.
Belgium outclassed the United States in Cleveland and Klinsmann’s men still have plenty of work to do ahead of next year’s World Cup.