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Under-20s Take Third in Busan Tournament With 2-2 Draw With Poland

BUSAN, South Korea (June 26, 2004) - The U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team battled Poland to a 2-2 draw this evening in Busan, South Korea to finish in third place in the Busan Four Nations International Tournament. The U.S. came from behind twice in the match as Will John and Nathan Sturgis found the back of the net in the second half.

The U.S. finished tied with Poland with one point, but finished ahead of them in the standings with a better goal differential of minus-2, compared to minus-3 for Poland. The U.S. fell in their two previous games in the four-team round robin tournament, losing 1-0 to South Korea and then dropping a close match to Brazil 2-1. South Korea won the tournament, going undefeated after beating Brazil 1-0 in the final match of the tournament.

The U.S. had their first scoring opportunity in the 10th minute. Guillermo Gonzalez got free inside the box and ripped a shot on target, but the 'keeper did well to deflect it away and it was eventually cleared out of danger.

Poland came close to scoring the opening goal of the match in the 17th minute as Lukasz Jasinksi received a cross just inside the 18-yard box on the left and ripped a shot to the far post. U.S. goalkeeper Quentin Westberg made a diving save, but the ball still trickled towards goal until Tim Ward was able to clear it off the line.

In the 35th minute, Gonzalez threatened inside the box again as he came just inches from getting to a cross from Jamie Watson.

Two minutes from the halftime whistle, Poland grabbed the lead. A cross was sent in from the left flank and a Polish forward ripped a shot that Julian Valentin was able to deflect, but the ball took an unfavorable bounce, falling directly to Micha Ilkow-Golab, who knocked it home.

Early in the second half, it appeared the U.S. had tied it up when Watson got his head to a Kiel McClung cross, but the goal was called back as Wastson was in an offsides position.

In the 57th minute, the U.S. finally did find the equalizer as Will John collected a pass from Watson outside the box, dribbled around two defenders and then finished with a low strike to the lower right corner.

Three minutes later, Poland retook the lead as Jakub Blaszczykowski found Lukasz Piszczek in the box. The forward beat Sturgis with a nifty move and slipped the ball under the outstretched arms of Westberg.

Sturgis was able to redeem himself a short time later, scoring the final tally of the game in the 64th minute. Sturgis collected the ball just past midfield on the right flank and pushed forward into the attack. He defeated a defender as he cut into the center of the field and then unleashed a strike from deep, placing it in the upper-left corner of the goal.

- Under-20 Men's National Team Match Report -

Participants: U-20 MNT vs. U-20 Poland
Competition: Busan International Youth Tournament
Location: Busan Asiad Main Stadium
Date: June 26, 2004
Attendance: 5,000 (est.)
Weather: Cloudy, Humid, mid 70s

Scoring Summary:

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

POL – Micha Ilkow-Golab                                                 43rd minute
USA – Will John (Jamie Watson)                                  57th
POL - Lukasz Piszczek (Jakub Blaszczykowski)            60th
USA – Nathan Sturgis                                                     64th

USA – 1-Quentin Westberg; 14-Kiel McClung; 4-Julian Valentin (5-Nathan Sturgis, 58’); 6-Steve Purdy; 3-Tim Ward; 20-Will Hall (19-Nico Colaluca,59’); 7-Danny Szetela [cap]; 12-Stuart Holden (22-Steve Curfman, 85’); 8-Memo Gonzalez; 13-Jamie Watson (10-Charlie Davies, 58’); 16-Will John (9-Kamani Hill, 59’)
Subs not used: 18-Andrew Kartunen
Unavailable: 15-John DiRaimondo (ineligible on yellow cards)

POL – 12-Marcin Piesik (1-Lukasz Fabianski, 66’); 19-Artur Lemanowicz; 13-Karol Wasielewski; 5-Sebastian Madera; 2-Piotr Celeban (7-Tomasz Szczepan, 63’); 14-Lukasz Zyrkowski; 17-Lukasz Jasinski; 16-Jakub Blaszczykowski; 9-Marcin Kowalczyk [cap]; 15-Grzegorz Szymanek (11-Lukasz Piszczek, 36’); 18-Micha Ilkow-Golab
Subs not used: 3-Grzegorz Bartczak; 4-Klaudiusz Latkowski; 6-Piotr Stawowy; 8-Marcin Smolinski; 10-Slawomir Peszko

Statistical Summary:
                           USA     POL
Shots                    7         10       
Saves                   5           2
Corners                4           5
Fouls                     7           7
Offside                 2            0

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Colaluca, caution        74th minute

Busan Four Nations International Tournament Final Standings/Results

Team                          W    L    D     GF    GA    +/-   Pts
Korea Republic          3    0     0       4       0       4      9
Brazil                           2    1     0       3       2       1       6
United States             0     2    1       3       5       -2      1
Poland                        0     2    1       2       5       -3      1

July 22    Brazil 1, Poland 0    /    S.Korea 1, USA 0
July 24    Brazil 2, USA 1    /    S.Korea 2, Poland 0
July 26    Poland 2, USA 2    /    S.Korea 1, Brazil 0