BACOLET, Tobago (Friday, September 14, 2001) - On a day of national mourning in the United States, the U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team fell 1-0 to Japan today in the team's first match of the 2001 FIFA Under-17 World Championship at Dwight Yorke Stadium in Bacolet, Tobago. The U.S. team wore black armbands during the match to honor the men and women who lost their lives in Tuesday's attack on the United States.
Simo and Johnson’s interchange freed Johnson 11 yards from the net, and he hit a dipping, bending right-footed shot that Japanese goalkeeper Kenta Tokushige did well to somehow push the ball just over the crossbar. Earlier in the second half, Johnson carved through the Japanese defense, but his 13-yard blast went high.
The game’s best chance came to Mike Magee early in the second half, when Santino Quaranta touched a looping ball over the Japanese backline that freed Magee alone with Tokushige. Magee lost the ball and slipped as he rounded the goalkeeper, and the ball was cleared.
“We played a much better game in the second half and created opportunities to get an equalizer and a winner,” U.S. head coach John Ellinger said. “We just didn’t take advantage of our opportunities, and they took advantage on one of their chances.”
Japan received all the offense they would need in the 12th minute, when Yutaro Abe beat U.S. goalkeeper Adam Schuerman from 11 yards out. Abe received the ball on his chest and beat Chad Marshall and Gray Griffin on the turn, before sneaking a right-footed shot past Schuerman.
Schuerman played well in goal for the U.S., making six saves. Abe’s goal in the 12th minute ended a string of 220 shutout minutes by Schuerman and the U.S. defense. The match was Marshall’s first return to the field since injuring his hip in a match against the San Diego Flash Reserves on August 13.
In the evening's second match, Nigeria topped France 2-1. France fell behind 2-0 late in the match, but battled back and were unlucky not to equalize in the game's dying moments. In Group A action, Brazil topped Australia 1-0 in a rematch of the 1999 Under-17 World Championship final.
The United States will return to Dwight Yorke Stadium for their second Group B match on Sunday, Sept. 16, taking on European runner-ups France at 6:30 p.m. ET. The U.S. will close out group play on Wednesday, Sept. 19, at 5:00 p.m. ET against African champions Nigeria.
2001 U.S. UNDER-17 MEN'S NATIONAL TEAM GAME REPORT
|Participants:||U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team vs. Japan|
|Competition:||2001 FIFA Under-17 World Championship (Group B)|
|Venue:||Dwight Yorke Stadium (Bacolet, Tobago)|
|Date:||Friday, September 14, 2001 - Kickoff: 5:00 p.m. ET|
|Weather:||89 degrees (Sunny, Hot)|
JPN - Yutaro Abe, 12.
USA - 18-Adam Schuerman; 8-Jordan Harvey, 12-Gray Griffin, 14-Chad Marshall, 2-David Chun; 15-Jordan Stone, 16-Craig Capano, 7-Mike Magee (4-Paul Johnson, 79); 3-Justin Mapp (17-Erwin Diaz, 74), 10-Ed Johnson, 9-Santino Quaranta (11-Chefik Simo, 90).
JPN - 1-Kenta Tokushige; 2-Ryota Aoki, 3-Kentaro Oi ()13-Sho Kitano, 92+), 4-Masatomo Kuba (14-Kiyohiro Hirabayashi, 75), 5-Tadayo Fukuo, 6-Shingo Nejime, 7-Naoya Kikuchi-(capt.), 8-Sho Naruoka (10-Kohei Kudo, 63), 9-Hiroto Mogi, 11-Yutaro Abe, 16-Jungo Fujimoto.
JPN – Tadayo Fukuo (caution), 91.
Referee: Paulo Cesar Oliveira (BRA)
Assistant Referee #1: Nelson Cano Duarte (PAR)
Assistant Referee #2: Steinar Holvik (NOR)
Fourth Official: Raphael Evehe Divine (CMR)