MANISA, Turkey (Jan. 20, 2014) – The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team opened play at the Aegean Cup on Monday in dramatic fashion by downing five-time defending champion France 2-1 on a last-minute penalty kick goal by Christian Pulisic.
The USA (1-0-0; 3pts) stands second in Group B based on goal differential after Norway defeated Scotland 3-0 in the group’s other Monday match. The U.S. U-17 MNT next plays Norway on Tuesday before facing the Scots on Thursday.
USA forward Haji Wright had a hand in crafting both goals for the Americans. Wright, a handful for the France defense throughout the match, set up strike partner Joe Gallardo for the game’s first goal in the 31st minute. After blocking a clearance from a France defender, Wright collected the loose ball and made a strong run to the end line before centering for an unmarked Gallardo, who tapped the ball into the net.
U.S. U-17 MNT goalkeeper Will Pulisic also put in a sterling performance, making several key saves as well as denying a second-half penalty kick attempt for France. However, there was little he could do about Arnaud Nordin’s equalizer for France with 10 minutes left to play. An in swinging cross from Maxime Pelican fell just outside the six-yard box, where Nordin eluded his marker to poke a rolling shot into the far side netting.
A late fast break initiated by Christian Pulisic set up the opportunity for him to score the winning goal from the penalty spot. Pulisic sent Wright free down the left flank of the France defense, and with a nice turn of pace, the speedy forward drew a penalty from France defender Maxime Bernauer as he cut toward goal. Pulisic dispatched the penalty with ease, side-footing the ball into the lower right corner of the goal as France goalkeeper Anthony Maisonnial jumped the opposite direction.
- U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team Match Report -
United States U-17 98-99 Men’s National Team vs. France
Date: January 20th, 2014
Competition: 2014 Mercedes-Benz Aegean Cup
Venue: Turgutlu 7 Eylul Stadyumu
Kickoff: 12:00pm GMT + 2
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 1 1 2
France 0 1 1
USA Joe Gallardo (Haji Wright) 31st minute
France Arnaud Nordin 69th minute
USA Christian Pulisic (Penalty) 80th minute
USA: 1-Will Pulisic; 3-Edwin Lara, 4-Alexis Velela, 5-Higo Arellano, 2-Matthew Olosunde (18-Tanner Dieterich, 79); 6-Eric Calvillo (capt.), 8-Luca De La Torre (16-Thomas McCabe, 75), 10-Christian Pulisc, 11- Pierre Da Silva (17-Orrin McKinze Gaines, 69); 19-Joe Gallardo, 7-Haji Wright
Subs Not Used: 9-Elijah Rice, 12-Carlos Avilez, 13-John Nelson, 20-Nicholas Taitague
Head Coach: Richie Williams
1-Anthony Maisonnial; 13- Abdoulkader Thiam, 4- Maxime Bernauer, 5- Raphael Crivello (capt.), 3- Bradley Danger; 10-Arnaud Nordin, 6-Yoahn Septier (15-Jeremy Livolant, 41); 8-Lucas Dumai (7-Djibril Diani, 62), 11-Nicolas Javnvier (12-Lilian Roudaut, 76), 18-Timothe Cognat (14-Amine Belahmeur, 62); 9-Maxime
Pelican (17-Hakim Abdallah, 73)
Subs Not Used: 2-Dayotchanculle Upamecano, 16- Loic Bedaishile
Head Coach: Jean-Claude Giuntini
Stats Summary: USA / France
**PLEASE NOTE –Game was 80 minutes**