Early Goals Lift U-17s Past Honduras
MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica (Friday, February 26, 1999) - The U.S. U-17 National Team struck with two first-half goals to defeat Honduras, 3-0, as CONCACAF U-17 qualifying continued today in Jamaica. In the afternoon's second match, Jamaica defeated Costa Rica, 2-0, creating an interesting final day of action. The USA will play host Jamaica on Saturday (Feb. 28) as both teams vie for the Group A title and the automatic berth in the 1999 FIFA U-17 World Championship. The Group A runner-up will face a playoff against El Salvador to determine CONCACAF's third and final berth in the World Championship.
The U.S. U-17s, who are unbeaten in their last nine international matches, dictated the tempo from the beginning, pressuring Honduras all over the field and taking advantage of their team speed on the flanks and up front.
"We did a much better job dealing with the weather today, keeping possession, pressuring and letting the ball do the work," said U.S. Under-17 Head Coach John Ellinger. "We finished our chances today and the team really stepped it up and controlled the game."
The Americans found the back of the net in the 7th minute when DaMarcus Beasley (Fort Wayne, Ind.) nudged in a pass from Kyle Beckerman (Crofton, Md.) on the 6 yard box. The play began with the defensive work of Jordan Cila (Jericho, N.Y.) who tracked down and dispossessed Honduran midfielder Mario Castillo and immediately feed the ball to Kenneth Cutler (Richmond,Va.). Cutler played a through ball to a streaking Beckerman, who faked a shot and slide the ball across the goal to an awaiting Beasley to put the ball in the net.
Landon Donovan (Redlands, Calif.) tallied his third goal of the '99 CONCACAF Tournament in the 24th minute after a give-and-go combination on the left-side with DaMarcus Beasley. Beasley beat his defender on the touch-line and played the ball back to Donovan, who stuck the ball first-time from on top of the box, beating Honduras 'keeper Maximiliano Lanza to the far post and giving the U.S. a 2-0 lead at halftime.
In the 27th minute forward Cliford Carcamo had Honduras's best chance to score when he found himself on a breakaway against U.S. 'keeper Delvin Countess (Sarcramento, Calif.). The Honduran tried to loft the ball over Countess but sailed his shot over the goal.
The USA put the game away in the 80th minute when Raul Rivera (Tulare, Calif.) performed some crafty footwork in midfield, beating three Honduras defenders and threading a ball to Donovan at the top of the box. Donovan played a one-two combination with Cila and made no mistake with his shot, giving the U.S. a 3-0 victory.
The U.S. will play Jamaica on Sunday, Feb. 28 at 3:00 p.m. (ET). The hosts, who are undefeated so far in the qualifying tournament, beat Honduras, 1-0, in their opening match and Costa Rica, 2-0, today. The winner of the USA-Jamaica will earn an automatic berth in the 1999 FIFA World Youth Championship to be hosted by New Zealand in November.
"Jamaica are difficult to play against. They don't play out of the back but rather one-touch it out and look for the counter-attack," said Ellinger. "It will be a battle on Sunday."
1999 U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team Game Report
|Participants:||U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team vs. Honduras Under-17 Men's National Team|
|Competition:||1999 CONCACAF Qualifying Tournament|
|Venue:||Montego Bay, Jamaica|
|Date:||February 26, 1999|
|Weather:||Breezy & Humid - 85 degrees|
USA - DaMarcus Beasley, (Beckerman), 7,
USA - Landon Donovan, (Beasley), 24,
USA - Landon Donovan, (Cila), 80.
USA - 1-Delvin Countness, 4-Nelson Akwari, 8-Alexander Yi, 17-Seth Trembly, 14-Oguchi Onyewu, 5-Bryan Jackson (9-Adolfo Gregorio, 72), 20-Kenneth Cutler (Capt.) (13-Raul Rivera, 75), 15-Kyle Beckerman (11-Bobby Convey, 80), DaMarcus Beasley, 16-Jordon Cila, 20-Landon Donovan.
HON - 32-Lanza Maximiliano, 3-Astor Cooper, 4-Norlan Salmeron (Josue Cruz, 31), 7-Cliford Carcamo, 8-Mario Castillo, 10-Jhoni Cerrata, 12-Jose Euceda, 16-Marco Figueroa, 17-Carlos Montero (2-Jose Bonilla, 35), 19-Alex Benavidez, 20-Derick Guerrero