U.S. U-20s Top Argentina 2-1 to Open Suwon Youth Tournament
- Forward Kamani Hill Scores Winning Goal in Extra Time to Give U.S. the Victory
- Schmid Remains Undefeated in International Play Since Taking Over U-20s, Increasing Record to 8-0-0
- U.S. Will Face South Korea in Second Match on Thursday, March 24
SUWON, South Korea (March 22, 2005) — The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team pulled out a stunning 2-1 victory over Argentina with a last-minute goal this evening despite an overall lackluster showing in the opening match of the Suwon International Youth Football Tournament at Suwon World Cup Stadium in Suwon, South Korea. Kamani Hill was the hero as the second-half substitute buried a breakaway in the final moments of the game to give the U.S. the win.
The U.S. will next face South Korea on Thursday, March 24 at 7 p.m. local time (5 a.m. ET) at Suwon World Cup Stadium. South Korea defeated Egypt 1-0 this evening following the U.S.-Argentina match.
The U.S. fell behind early as Argentina scored in the eighth minute of play, but fought back to find the equalizer 10 minutes later as Chad Barrett buried a corner kick that was juggled by the Argentina goalkeeper. The rest of the match was in Argentina’s favor as the South American power took 15 shots overall, compared to the USA’s seven, but Hill allowed the U.S. to kickoff the tournament with a victory when he got behind the Argentina defense and finished low past Nereo Champagne a minute into extra time.
With the victory, U.S. Under-20 head coach Sigi Schmid increased his undefeated international record to 8-0-0 since taking over the national team in late October of last year. In those eight matches, the U.S. has scored 18 goals, while only allowing three against.
“I’m pleased that we won the game, but we are definitely going to have to play better than we played tonight as we move on in this tournament and as we continue to prepare for the World Championship,” said Schmid. “Even though we didn’t play well for periods of time I think we showed we have good character, attitude and a great fighting spirit to come away victorious. In our next match against Korea though, we will certainly have to play better.”
Argentina got on the board first, putting away their first opportunity on goal in the eighth minute. Working down the left flank, Mauro Boselli lifted a ball over the U.S. backline to a streaking Emiliano Armenteros along the sideline. Armenteros didn’t take the time to settle the ball, hitting an early cross into the top of the penalty area as both Jose Luis Garcia and Martin Fabro were unmarked at the far post. U.S. defender Hunter Freeman hustled back and lunged for the cross, just missing it as it fell to Fabro, who took a settling touch before burying it past Westberg into the left side of the net.
The U.S. found the equalizer in the 19th minute off a good individual effort by Chad Barrett on a corner kick. Will John curled in a ball to the top of the six-yard box and Argentina goalkeeper Nereo Champagne reached over the head of Barrett to snag the service, but lost the handle and it hit Barrett in the head before dropping right in front of the U.S. striker. As Barrett fell to the ground he cracked the loose ball into the open net before a defender could come over to clear it out.
During the rest of the half, Argentina had the majority of chances on net as the U.S. struggled in their one-on-one defending and defensive marking, but Westberg was magnificent in goal to keep the game even. A minute after the U.S. goal, Garcia found some room in the middle of the pitch and unleashed a bullet that was heading just under the crossbar until Westberg was able to parry it over the frame at the last second. On Argentina’s next possession a nice give-and-go on the right sideline released Fabro inside the penalty area, but his strike went directly into the waiting arms of Westberg.
Westberg’s biggest stop came in the 24th minute when he broke up a breakaway after a poor back pass. Defender Hunter Freeman tried to push the ball back to Westberg from his left back position, but his touch was too soft and Bosell intercepted the pass and headed one-v-one with the U.S. ‘keeper. Westberg raced to the top of the area and preserved the draw for the time being by stoning Boselli, snagging the ball off his feet as the forward tried to push it around him.
Due to poor marking on an Argentina free kick in the 38th minute, Westberg had to make one final save in the half. The ball was served in from 25 yards out along the left flank and Jonathan Maidana got free from his defender at the back post for a diving header, but Westberg once again was in the perfect position to make the save.
While displaying some offensive creativeness up front that allowed the U.S. to put in some dangerous crosses early in the second half, the defense continued to struggle with the Argentina frontline. The U.S. basically played a bend-but-don’t-break defense as Argentina continually earned opportunities on goal, but rarely put anything on target that was dangerous.
In the 62nd minute, Argentina had the chance to take the lead when defender Tim Ward tried to clear a ball, but it deflected off Matias Abelairas, who then pushed forward for a two-on-one. Abelairas pushed the ball to his left for Boselli, who took a touch into the penalty area before ripping a shot that went wide left.
Six minutes later, the U.S. almost stuck again as Barrett got free on the endline to the left of the goal with some nice dribbling and then pulled the ball back to Sacha Kljestan, who had come into the game just a minute earlier. Kljestan had a great look on goal from about 14 yards out, but his shot was weak and went directly to Champagne.
Brad Evans came into the match in the 68th minute and quickly provided the U.S. offense with a boost. Two minutes after coming on he ran onto a ball from Eddie Gaven on the endline and got past a defender on the dribble inside the box before trying to send in a low cross, but it was snagged by Champagne.
In the 77th minute, Evans found some room in the middle of the pitch and pulled the trigger from 30 yards out, just missing the left post after deflecting off an Argentina defender. A minute later, it was Evans again as he received a ball with his back to the goal from Kljestan inside the box, turned in the tight space and just missed his attempt wide left.
The last ten minutes was a barrage of shots by Argentina before Hill’s heroics. In the 80th minute, Fabro cut towards the goal from the right midfield before pushing the ball to his left for Armenteros at the top of the box. In one swift move, Armenteros turned towards goal and touched the ball past a flat-footed Robby Rogers, but his strike was well high of the target.
In the 88th minute, the U.S. tried to clear out a dangerous cross, but Formica won the ball and quickly lofted it back towards the right post. Despite Evans draped all over him, Fabro was able to get his head to it at the six-yard box, knocking it towards the right post, but again Westberg came up big with a reflex save to keep the game tied.
The U.S. finally got the game-winner in the first minute of extra time when Greg Dalby headed an Argentina clearance upfield from midfield and then Evans flicked it on 30 yards from goal, splitting two Argentina defenders allowing Hill to race in for a breakaway. The UCLA forward held off Maidana racing back to defend and then calmly buried his shot low past the ‘keeper for the victory.
- U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team Game Report -
Participants: USA vs. Argentina
Competition: Suwon International Youth Football Tournament
Location: Suwon, South Korea
Date: March 22, 2005
Weather: Sunny, cool; 50 degrees
1 2 F
USA 1 1 2
Argentina 1 0 1
ARG – Martin Fabro (Emiliano Armenteros) 8th minute
USA – Chad Barrett (Will John) 18.
USA – Kamani Hill (Brad Evans) 91.
USA: 1-Quentin Westberg; 6-Hunter Freeman (22-Robby Rogers, 74), 2-Patrick Phelan, 4-Patrick Ianni (Capt.), 20-Tim Ward; 8-Benny Feilhaber (7-Sacha Kljestan, 66), 9-Eddie Gaven, 12-Greg Dalby, 16-Will John (17-Danny Szetela, 57); 13-Chad Barrett (15-Kamani Hill, 74), 10-Jacob Peterson (23-Brad Evans, 68).
Subs not used: 3-Sean Franklin, 5-Nathan Sturgis, 11-Arturo Alvarez, 18-Andrew Kartunen.
Head Coach: Sigi Schmid
ARG: 1-Nereo Champagne; 3-LautaroFormica, 4-Julio Barroso, 2-Jonathan Maidana, 5-Nicolas Domingo; 7-Diego Manicero (21-Cristian Yassogna, 69), 9-Jose Luis Garcia (20-Matias Abelairas, 60), 6-Franco Miranda, 19-Emiliano Armenteros (17-Rodrigo Archubi, 80), 8-Martin Fabro (16-Jose Herrero, 85), 11-Maruo Bosell
Subs not used: 12-Nahuel Guzman, 13-Matias Cahais, 14-Lucas D’Alegre, 15-Leandro Grimi, 18-Cristian Sanchez Prette.
Head Coach: Francisco Ferraro
Shots 8 14
Saves 5 2
Fouls 16 11
Corner Kicks 4 4
Offside 2 4
ARG – Jonatan Maidana (caution) 6th minute
ARG – Nicolas Domingo (caution) 55th
USA – Kamani Hill (caution) 92nd
Referee: Min Hu Lee
1st Assistant: Chang Goo Kang
2nd Assistant: Yong Bae Moon
Fourth Official: Dong Jun Lee
U.S. Quote Sheet
U.S. Head Coach Sigi Schmid
On the match:
“It was a good win for us. For two months I hadn’t seen the majority of the team and we only had two practices here before we played our first match. Once we get the chance to continue our preparation, things will get better.”
On their next opponent, South Korea:
“Korea is a good team and they have had time together as a group and that makes a big difference. They have made some great strides and will be a tough opponent for us.”
On winning the match despite not playing well:
“This wasn’t our best game, but the character we showed to win it in the end is great. We have to learn from this game though and try to improve in our next matches. There were times where our defending was lacking whether it was one-v-one defending or marking in the box. But, in the end we didn’t give the game away and gave ourselves a chance to win it.”
Forward Chad Barrett
On his goal:
“We really wanted to get a goal because we were already behind at that point. It was a good cross from Will (John) and I just challenged the ‘keeper. I didn’t know what was going to happen, but luckily he dropped the ball. I felt it hit my head and as soon as I landed I looked around to see what happened. As I fell over I just kicked it in.”
On what the win does for the team's confidence:
“It’s amazing for our confidence. We have the mentality that we can beat anybody. Even though this win wasn’t the prettiest thing and there are still things we need to work on, we showed we have too much character to sit down against any team. We have a lot of heart.”
Forward Kamani Hill
On his game-winning goal:
"Brad (Evans) got a great flick that split the defense. I ran onto it and the ‘keeper came out. I think the first thing that came to my mind was I wanted to put it over the ‘keeper’s head. And then I figured I’ve been working on just keeping it simple, so the easiest thing was to just pass it to the ‘keeper’s left.”
On how if felt to score:
“I can’t even explain it. It’s like scoring in a club championship game times a million. It’s an international game and it was a great feeling for the entire team. I was happy I was able to bring success to the entire program.”
Goalkeeper Quentin Westberg
On his save in the first half:
“He was kind of anticipating the back pass and was smart about it. When he stole it and came towards me one-on-one he looked at me straight in the eyes and as soon as I caught his look, I dove towards his legs, spread out as much as possible and was fortunate to catch the ball. He hesitated a bit and I think I surprised him.”