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U.S. Under-23 Men Draw 0-0 with Uruguay, Advance to Semifinals

WINNIPEG, Canada (Saturday, July 31, 1999) - DaMarcus Beasley's last-minute ejection brought an unhappy ending to a day that saw the United States draw 0-0 with Uruguay and advance to the semifinals of the 1999 Pan American Games.

Beasley and Uruguay's Jorge Reyna exchanged shoves in extra-time and both were shown a red card by referee Carlos Batres.

After Batres whistled Uruguay for a foul, Mauro Basualdo picked up the ball and was walking away from the spot of the foul. Beasley made an effort to take the ball from Basualdo, then Reyna grabbed Beasley from behind. The two got tangled up and Reyna appeared to be have a grasp of Beasley's jersey as the U.S. midfielder threw his hands into the air. When the fracas settled down, Batres wasted no time in reaching for his red card.

Batres is the same official who ejected Evan Whitfield and Cory Gibbs on July 25 in the USA's 2-1 loss to Honduras.

After the game, Beasley maintained that the team's focus is still on winning the gold.

"Now, going into the semifinals, we have a chance to show everyone we can still play," Beasley said. "Our main goal is definitely to still try to win the gold medal."

The road to the gold medal became much more difficult with the ejection of Beasley, who will be suspended for at least one game following his red card. Prior to his ejection, Beasley was the only American player who had started and played in every minute of every U.S. game.

The United States learned earlier today that it had already advanced to the semi-finals when Honduras defeated Jamaica 2-1. The United States will play in the first semifinal at 7:00 p.m.on Tuesday, August 3 against Mexico, Costa Rica or Canada. All three teams play their final group game Sunday.

The game itself was a back and forth affair that saw neither team produce any brilliant scoring opportunities. U.S. goalkeeper Adin Brown had little to do as he recorded his first shutout of the 1999 Pan American Games. Brown made six spectacular saves on Thursday as the U.S. topped Jamaica 2- 1. Tonight he made six saves, but none of the difficult variety he produced Thursday.

The United States had a wonderful opportunity to go ahead in the 15th minute when Vagenas played a wonderful ball into the box that Michael Preis dummied and allowed Conor Casey a one-on- one with the 'keeper from an angle on the left side of the box. But Casey's shot went wide right.

Sasha Victorine had an opportunity of his own to push the U.S. ahead in the 32nd minute, but his header from a Steve Shak cross went over the crossbar. Victorine had another chance in the 49th minute when he did well to create space for himself in the box. He pulled the ball out of the air, but his shot was straight at Uruguayan goalkeeper Martin Gongora. Gongora made three saves on the day.