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U.S. U-17 Falls 2-1 to Uzbekistan in Second Match of 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup

  • Uzbekistan Earns Penalty Kick in Second Half to Snag Victory in Second Match 
  • Alfred Koroma Scored His Second Goal of Tournament to Equalize Early in Second Half 
  • U.S. Tied for the Top Place in Group D, Can Advance to Round of 16 with Victory against New Zealand 
  • USA to Face New Zealand on Saturday, June 25, with Live Coverage on ESPNU and ESPN3 at 6 p.m. CT

TORREON, Mexico (June 22, 2011) – The U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team lost 2-1 to Uzbekistan on Wednesday evening in their second group match of the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup at Estadio Torreon. The U.S. fell behind in the 13th minute before an Alfred Koroma goal just after halftime leveled the score. A penalty coverted by Abbosbek Makhstaliev just seven minutes later lifted Uzbekistan to its first-ever win at the FIFA U-17 World Cup.

With all four teams in Group D locked on three points, the U.S. is currently tied for the top place in the group with New Zealand based on tiebreakers, but all four teams are still in a position to either win the group or finish in fourth place.

The U.S. will face New Zealand with the top place in Group D on the line on Saturday, June 25, at 6 p.m. local time (7 p.m. ET) at Estadio Hidalgo in Pachuca, Mexico. A win would secure a place in the Round of 16 for either team. That match kicks off at 6 p.m. local time (7 p.m. ET) live on ESPNU and ESPN3, and on tape delay on Galavision. 

“We talked to the boys about going in with a lot of concentration knowing Uzbekistan was coming hard to play for their life, their possibility to survive in the World Cup,” said U.S. head coach Wilmer Cabrera. “We spoke with them about Uzbekistan being a team that was going to play with a lot of heart and passion. The players went onto the field too relaxed, in slow motion. When we finally reacted we were down 1-0. This is a mental game. Uzbekistan was motivated and more aggressive, more into the game than our players.” [More Quotes]

The match started evenly, with both teams exchanging possession without much urgency. A miss-clearance in the U.S. box popped the ball high for Uzbekistan’s Jasurbek Khakimov who touched it over to Bobir Davlatov, and his shot curled perfectly into the far side netting to give Uzbekistan the 1-0 lead in the 13th minute. That goal marked the first goal the U.S. has allowed in this tournament and the first that McIntosh has allowed in a game he has started this year.

The U.S., which began with the same starting lineup from the match against Czech Republic on Sunday, had their first chance in the 17th minute when a nice passing sequence led to a shot on goal for Alejandro Guido that skipped right into Ganisher Kholmuradov’s hands. Just three minutes later, Marc Pelosi took a corner kick that was headed down by Paul Arriola but flew wide of the goal. In the 24th minute, another Pelosi corner was headed down by Mario Rodriguez but was saved off the line by an Uzbekistan defender.

Uzbekistan had a quick counter in the 28th minute with a shot from Azizbek Muratov that was easily scooped up by McIntosh. The U.S. tried to answer a minute later with a good passing sequence that sent Amon into the right corner and he crossed the ball into the box but Mario Rodriguez’s header was just over the bar.

Uzbekistan came close to doubling their lead in the 32nd minute when Makhstaliev shot from 20 yards out and barely missed the top of the goal. A minute later, Asilijon Mansurov took a shot on goal off a free kick, but McIntosh scooped it up.

The Americans continued to move the ball around and held a majority of the possession at the end of the first half but had a tough time getting through the midfield and back line.

Koroma entered the game at the start of the second half for Esteban Rodriguez and tied the game in the 47th minute with his first touches on the ball. The ball popped out to the top of the box to Matt Dunn, who drove a ball into the area, and Koroma fought off a defender to slip it past the goalkeeper for his second goal of the tournament.

Seven minutes later, Uzbekistan would re-take the lead when Zach Carroll was whistled for a foul in the penalty box. Makhstaliev converted the penalty kick to give Uzbekistan the 2-1 lead.

Uzbekistan stayed aggressive and Davlatov kicked a hard shot in the 70th minute that went wide of the U.S. goal. Six minutes later, Davlatbek Yarbekov picked off a ball from the American defenders and sent it to Muratov who hit a shot high and wide of the goal.

The U.S. earned a corner kick in the 78th minute and Arriola sent it in to Guido, who headed it wide of the goal. In the 86th minute, Arriola again played a ball across the box for Koroma, who turned toward goal and found his shot just wide of the far post.

In stoppage time, the U.S. looked for their chance to tie the game when Nico Melo took a free kick from the top of the box, but his shot went agonizingly wide of the left post.

- U.S. U-17 MNT Match Report -

Match: U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team vs. Uzbekistan
Date: June 22, 2011
Competition: FIFA U-17 World Cup – Group D
Venue: Estadio Torreon – Torreon, Mexico
Kickoff: 3 p.m. (4 p.m. ET)
Attendance: 4,133
Weather: 95 degrees, cloudy

Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA                        0 1 1
UZB                        1 1 2

UZB – Bobir Davlatov (Timur Khakimov)      13th minute
USA – Alfred Koroma (Matt Dunn)                47
UZB – Abbosbek Makhstaliev (penalty kick)  54

USA: 1-Kendall McIntosh; 16-Kellyn Acosta, 6-Mobi Fehr, 2-Zach Carroll, 4-Joe Amon (3-Nathan Smith, 46); 8-Esteban Rodriguez (7-Alfred Koroma, 46), 5-Matt Dunn, 10-Alejandro Guido (13-Nico Melo, 83), 11-Marc Pelosi (capt.); 9-Mario Rodriguez, 18-Paul Arriola
Subs not used: 12-Fernando Piña, 14-Tarik Salkicic, 15-Alessandro Mion, 17-Andrew Souders, 19-Jack McBean, 20-Dillon Serna
Head Coach: Wilmer Cabrera

UZB: 12-Ganisher Kholmurodov; 4-Ravshanjon Haydarov (2-Mirzamurod Jurabaev, 90), 3-Sardor Rakhmanov, 14- Javlon Mirabdullaev, 5-Asiljon Mansurov; 9-Kholmurod Kholmurodov (20-Davlatbek Yarbekov, 60), 13-Bobir Davlatov, 8-Sardor Sabirkhodjaev, 7-Azizbek Muratov; 11-Timur Khakimov (18-Muhsinjon Ubaydullaev, 83), 6-Abbosbek Makhstaliev (capt.)
Subs not used: 1-Sergey Smorodin, 10-Nodirhon Kamolov, 15-Jasurbek Khakimov, 16-Khasan Askarov, 17-Dior Usmankhodjaev, 19-Zabikhillo Urinboev, 21-Abdumavlon Abduljalilov
Head coach: Aleksey Evstafeev

Stats Summary: USA / UZB
Shots: 10 / 15
Shots on Goal: 4 / 7
Saves: 5 / 3
Corner Kicks: 5 / 1
Fouls: 20 / 16
Offside: 1 / 4

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Joe Amon (caution)          34th minute
UZB – Timur Khakimov (caution) 41
USA – Zach Carroll (caution)       57
USA – Mobi Fehr (caution)          57

Referee: Alexy Nikolaev (RUS)
Assistant Referee 1: Anton Averianov (RUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Tikhon Kalugin (RUS)
Fourth Official: Jafeth Perea (PAN) Man of the Match: Alfred Koroma