BACOLET, Tobago (Sunday, September 16, 2001) - The United States Under-17 Men were beat by a talented French side, 5-3, on Sunday night at the Dwight Yorke Stadium in Bacolet, Tobago. With the loss, the United States cannot advance to the quarterfinals. The U.S. will conclude the tournament on Wednesday, Sept. 19, against Group B leaders Nigeria at 5 p.m. ET.
“I thought that we lost to a team that was better than us on this night,” said U.S. Head Coach John Ellinger. “We knew coming in that we were placed in the most difficult group and that we would have three games against three of the best teams in the world. Now we just need to play a little better and finish the tournament on a high note on Wednesday.”
As they did in Friday’s loss to Japan, the U.S. fell behind early, allowing Sinama Pongolle to put the French on the board with a well-crafted goal in the fourth minute. The United States played their best soccer of the tournament after falling behind, and Mike Magee equalized with the USA’s first goal of the tournament in the 19th minute. Magee controlled a deflected Santino Quaranta cross, and spun and unleased a left-footed volley that hit the hand of French captain Jacques Faty and continued into the net. The goal ended an American scoreless streak of 228 minutes that dated back to Magee’s free-kick gamewinner against Brazil on Sept. 2.
The United States grabbed their first lead of the tournament in the 28th minute, when U.S. pressure was rewarded with an own goal. Ed Johnson’s cross from the right side deflected off of Julio Colombo and left French goalkeeper Florent Chaigneau with no chance. France pulled a goal back three minutes later to enter halftime deadlocked 2-2.
The French struck quick on the other side of halftime as Mourad Meghni’s free kick from 23 yards out slipped through Adam Schuerman’s hands on the goalline. With rain coming down, Schuerman dove to his right and appeared to save Meghni’s shot, but the ball found its way into the net. A pair of beautifully taken Sinama Pongolle goals in the 60th and 65th minutes finalized the France scoreline.
The U.S. battled back and Ed Johnson scored a well-deserved goal in the 75th minute. Ed Johnson controlled a long ball from Paul Johnson, fought off Faty, sidestepped another French defender and coolly slotted the ball past Chaigneau from 20 yards out. The goal was Johnson’s 23rd international goal in 24 matches.
Johnson, Quaranta and Chefik Simo all produced chances in the final 10 minutes, but were unable to put another past Chaigneau, who made six saves in the match.
Nigeria cruised past Japan, 4-0, in the first Group B match of the evening to put the Super Eaglets alone at the top of Group B with six points. In Sunday’s Group A matches, Brazil topped Croatia, 3-1, in a battle of first-day winners, while Australia handed the host Trinidad & Tobago team a 1-0 loss. Australia and Croatia meet on Sept. 19, and a win or a draw will put Australia through to the quarterfinals, along with Brazil (six points).
2001 U.S. UNDER-17 MEN'S NATIONAL TEAM GAME REPORT
|Participants:||U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team vs. France|
|Competition:||2001 FIFA Under-17 World Championship (Group B)|
|Venue:||Dwight Yorke Stadium (Bacolet, Tobago)|
|Date:||Sunday, September 16, 2001 - Kickoff: 6:30 p.m. ET|
|Weather:||77 degrees (Humid, Intermittent Rain)|
FRA - Florent Sinama Pongolle, 4.
USA - Mike Magee (Santino Quaranta), 19.
USA - own goal (Julio Colombo), 28.
FRA - Samuel Pietre, 32.
FRA - Mourad Meghni, 49.
FRA - Florent Sinama Pongolle (Samuel Pietre), 61.
FRA - Florent Sinama Pongolle (Anthony Le Tallet), 65.
USA - Ed Johnson (Paul Johnson), 76.
USA - 18-Adam Schuerman; 8-Jordan Harvey (capt.), 12-Gray Griffin, 14-Chad Marshall, 2-David Chun (4-Paul Johnson, 65); 15-Jordan Stone, 16-Craig Capano, 7-Mike Magee (6-Chris Lancos, 71); 3-Justin Mapp (11-Chefik Simo, 46), 10-Ed Johnson, 9-Santino Quaranta.
FRA - 1-Florent Chaigneau; 3-Jeremie Berthod (2-Kevin Debiris, 46), 4-Julio Colombo, 5-Jacques Faty (capt.), 6-Gael Maia (13- Stephen Drouin, 72), 8-Hassan Yebda, 10-Mourad Meghni, 16-Samuel Pietre, 17-Luigi Glombard (12-Emmers Fae, 46); 7-Anthony Le Tallec, 9-Florent Sinama Pongolle.
FRA – Hassan Yebda (caution), 35.
Referee: Eun Ju Im (KOR)
Assistant Referee #1: Jackeline Saez Blanquice (PAN)
Assistant Referee #2: Ana Isabel Perez Assante (PER)
Fourth Official: Daniel Orlando Gimenez (ARG)
FIFA Man of the Match: Anthony Le Tallec