JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jozy Altidore ended a six-month scoreless streak with a pair of goals, leading the United States over Nigeria 2-1 Saturday night in the Americans’ World Cup send-off match.
Altidore tapped in Fabian Johnson’s cross in the 31st minute on a play that started with an Alejandro Bedoya run, stopping a 27-match scoreless streak for club and country with his first goal since Dec. 4 for Sunderland against Chelsea.
He doubled the lead in the 68th, running onto Michael Bradley’s looping 30-yard pass over the defense. Altidore took a touch with each foot as he cut inside of Nigeria captain Joseph Yobo, then beat goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama with a right-footed shot from 12 yards.
The U.S. was undefeated in its send-off series for the first time since it started in 2002, beating the African champions following a 2-0 victory over Azerbaijan and a 2-1 win over Turkey.
Making their seventh straight World Cup appearance, the Americans head to Brazil on Sunday night and open June 16 against Ghana, the team that eliminated them from the last two tournaments.
Tim Howard made his 100th international appearance, becoming the 15th American male to reach the century mark and tying Tony Meola for second-most appearances by an U.S. goalkeeper, two behind Kasey Keller.
Victor Moses converted an 86th-minute penalty kick for Nigeria after he was knocked over in the penalty area by Matt Besler.
A crowd of 52,033 watched an exhibition that began with an 84-degree temperature and 65 percent humidity that should be similar to the climate in Brazil.
Altidore’s confidence had been a subject of debate since the team started training at Stanford, California, in mid-May. A year he scored 31 goals for AZ Alkmaar in the Netherlands and set a season record for an American with a European club, he scored just twice for Sunderland.