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U.S. Falls to Brazil 2-1 in South Korea


BUSAN, South Korea (June 24, 2004) - The U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team took a one-goal lead in the first half, but Brazil was able to score two unanswered goals in the second half for a 2-1 victory this evening in the second match for the U.S. in the Busan Four Nations International Tournament in Busan, South Korea. Stuart Holden gave the U.S. the lead in the 38th minute, but Brazil bounced back getting an own goal early in the second half and then the game winner from Rafael in the 75th minute.

The U.S., which fell to South Korea 1-0 in their opening match, will play its final match of the round robin, four-team tournament against Poland on Saturday, June 26.

This was the second match against Brazil in eight days as the U.S. fell to the reigning Under-20 World Champions 2-0 at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on June 16.

Similar to the first meeting, the U.S. again was able to hold their ground against the Brazilian side, keeping the match even and creating chances on goal despite missing four of the MLS professionals (Freddy Adu, Arturo Alvarez, Craig Capano and Eddie Gaven) that had started the match in Fort Lauderdale. Both teams created more opportunities on goal this time around, as the U.S. put nine shots on goal to Brazil’s 11.

The U.S. created the first opportunity in the game in the 13th minute. Attacking midfielder Will John had the ball near the top of the box and laid the ball into the area on the left side for Steve Curfman, who hit the ball first time, striking it off the crossbar.

Brazil came right back three minutes later, forcing U.S. goalkeeper Andrew Kartunen into his first of six saves on the night. Pushing the ball up the left flank, Brazil was able to send in a dangerous cross into the area and Wagner hit it off the bounce, but Kartunen was able to make the diving save.

In the 28th minute, Brazil had another good chance on net after a cross was deflected out and Evandro was able to pounce on it at the top of the 18-yard box. The Silver Ball winner at the FIFA U-17 World Championship ripped a shot on frame, but it went right to Kartunen for the easy save.

Ten minutes later, the U.S. took a 1-0 lead. John pushed the ball ahead to Nico Colaluca near the top of the penalty area and the midfielder deftly knocked the ball into the path of a streaking Holden on the right side. Holden struck the ball first time, zipping it through traffic in the box and finding the side netting just inside the left post. The goal was Holden’s first for the Under-20s.

Brazil came out in the second half putting the U.S. under high pressure and was rewarded with an own goal just two minutes from kickoff. Neto got free behind the U.S. defense and was free on goal, but Kartunen did well to come off his line and force the striker to his left and cut off his angle. With Kartunen on the turf, Neto was still able to cut the ball back across the goalmouth before the ball rolled over the endline, looking for a wide open player at the far post. Hustling back on defense, Julian Valentin was tried to cut off the pass, but in his attempt to clear the ball from danger he was unfortunate to knock the ball into his own net for an own goal.

Brazil found the game winner off a corner kick in the 75th minute. Wagner sent in a ball and Rafael was able to get a head to it to give Brazil the lead for the first time in the match.

In the 90th minute, Brazil almost scored again as Neto put on a marvelous dribbling display, defeating four U.S. defenders and getting around Kartunen, but his shot hit the left post and was cleared out of the area.

The U.S. had three dangerous free kicks in the final few minutes, but couldn’t find the late equalizer. Gonzalez, who came on in the 81st minute, hit two dead balls from about 25 yards out in the 86th and 87th minutes. Both shots went on frame, but Brazil goalkeeper Renan Breto was able to make the saves. Just moments before the final whistle, the U.S. got another free kick from a bit farther out and in a last ditch effort to get a draw Kartunen came up from the U.S. goal to give them numbers, but the service was cleared out by Brazil.

Notes: John DiRaimondo received his second yellow card of the tournament and will be forced to sit out the final match against Poland ... South Korea beat Poland 2-0 in the late match.


- U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team Match Report -

Participants: U-20 MNT vs. Brazil
Competition: Busan Four Nations International Youth Tournament
Location: Busan Asiad Main Stadium
Date: June 24, 2004
Attendance: 10,000 (est.)
Weather: Humid, slight rain, high 70s

Scoring Summary:

                                      1st      2nd     Final
United States                1         0          1
Brazil                              0         2          2

USA – Stuart Holden (Nico Colaluca)             38th minute
BRA – Own goal                                                47th
BRA – Rafael (Wagner)                                    75th 

Lineups:
USA –18-Andrew Kartunen; 14-Kiel McClung, 4-Julian Valentin (15-John DiRaimondo, 82), 6-Steve Purdy; 20-Will Hall, 3-Tim Ward, 7-Danny Szetela (12-Stuart Holden, 30), 22-Steve Curfman (5-Nathan Sturgis, 55), 16-Will John (8-Guillermo Gonzalez, 81); 19-Nico Colaluca (10-Charlie Davies, 51), 9-Kamani Hill (13-Jamie Watson, 81).
Subs not used: 1-Quentin Westberg

BRA – 1-Renan Breto; 13-Ilsinho, 3-Halisson, 4-Edcarlos, 6-Felipe Soares; 8-Junior(18-Emane, 59), 5-Rafael, 19-Vinicius (16-Andre, 83), 9-Evandro (7-Rodrigo, 78); 20-Neto, 10-Wagner. 

Statistical Summary:
                           USA      BRA
Shots                     9            11
Saves                    6             5
Corners                 3            2
Fouls                   13           12
Offside                  1            8

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Stuart Holden (caution)                    68th minute
USA – John DiRaimondo (caution)            84th
BRA – Junior (caution)                                 86th
BRA – Rafael (caution)                                88th 

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