U.S. U-17s to Play Australia in Semifinal on Tuesday Night, Nov. 23
CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (Sunday, November 21, 1999) - The U.S. U-17 team arrived in Christchurch, New Zealand this morning after a one hour flight from Auckland, to prepare for their semifinal match against Australia on Tuesday night, Nov. 23, kickoff at 10:00 p.m. ET.
The U.S. U-17s had the opportunity to watch the Australia-Qatar semifinal match played today in Christchurch, that the Aussies won 1-0.
Australia advanced out of Group C as the top team with a 2-1-0 record. The Aussies opened the tournament with a 2-1 loss to Brazil but gathered themselves and beat Germany (2- 1)and Mali (1-0) to win the group. The Aussies are the first Australian team to advance to past the quarterfinals, there best finish was in 1985 when they finished in fifth place.
In other quarterfinal matches Ghana defeated Uruguay 3-2 in overtime and Brazil downed Paraguay 3-1. Ghana and Brazil will face off in the other semifinal match, a repeat of the last two world championship finals where Ghana won in 1995 and Brazil in 1997.
U.S. Soccer will hold a media conference call on Monday, Nov. 22 at 2:00 p.m. ET. U.S. U-17 head coach John Ellinger and U.S. U-17 players Landon Donovan, DaMarcus Beasley and Kyle Beckerman will be available for U.S. media.
JOHN ELLINGER (U.S. U-17 Head Coach)
On playing Australia in the semifinals:
"They are well-organized and technically sound all over. They are very big and skillful with the ball and like to get the ball into the feet of their strikers. We will have all our defenders back for only the second time in the tournament and will need them to stop their attack."
CORRECTION: It was stated in the last game report that the U.S. U-17s were the first-ever U.S. Men's National Team to advance to the semifinals of a FIFA World Championship when in fact the 1989 U.S. Men's Under-20 National Team advanced to the semifinals, of the 1989 FIFA World Youth Championship, held in Saudi Arabia. A 1989 USA squad that featured players such as Kasey Keller, Mike Burns, Chris Henderson and Cam Rast fell to Nigeria 2-1 in the semifinals and then to Brazil in the consolation match to finish fourth. If the U.S. U-17s win on Tuesday night they will become the first-ever U.S. Men's team to advance to the finals of a FIFA World Cup.