The U.S. U-23 men's national team tied China in a 0-0 draw at the Changsha He Long Sports Center in Changsha, China. More than 30,000 fans watched the first of two meetings between the sides.
U.S. goalkeeper Chris Seitz made several key saves on the evening and both teams hit the woodwork. China fielded a full-strength side that included three overage players.
"It was a very difficult task tonight. Both teams played for the win," said Nowak. "From our end, we had difficulty finding a good rhythm in the first half. At the same time, we did not make many mistakes. In the second half we had a better rhythm. We started to find good openings and were a little bit unlucky with our finishing. It was a great atmosphere in the stadium tonight, and I thought this was a good start for our preparations for qualification."
The U-23s will conclude their two-match tour Sunday afternoon when they face China in Guangzhou. Kickoff at the Yue Xiu Shan Stadium is set for 2:30 p.m. local time.