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U.S. Advances to Final Eight of FIFA Futsal World Championship 2004

First Appearance in Final Eight Since Second-Place Finish in 1992;
Guastaferro Goal, Solid Defense and Goalkeeper Clinch It for the USA

TAIPEI CITY, Taiwan (Thursday, November 25, 2004) – The U.S. has advanced to the final eight of the FIFA Futsal World Championship Chinese Taipei 2004 with a 1-1 draw with Japan in their final match of play in Group C on Thanksgiving in Taipei City, Taiwan.

The U.S. needed, and got, help from Italy, who eliminated Paraguay 4-2 in a match that ran concurrent at a different venue. Italy, the European Champion, won the group with flawless nine points. The U.S. advances with a second-place finish at four points, while Paraguay (three points) and Japan (one point) finished third and fourth and will not advance.

“We happened to score first again, which was very important because of how Japan defends. They are strong in taking the middle part of the field away, which made it difficult for us,” said U.S. head coach Keith Tozer. “We knew that they were a team that wasn’t going to quit. When they took their goalkeeper out, they became even more dangerous. We tried to hang on, and we did.

“This is a great day for U.S. Soccer, this is a great day for U.S. Futsal and this is a great day for the MISL where the players come from. We’re all united as one in our country as far as futsal is concerned.”

Early in the game the U.S. had some scoring chances, but could not convert. In the opening minute, U.S. captain Sean Bowers was on the run in a two vs. two situation, but his shot was knocked away by Hisamitsu Kawahara who kept Japan in the match all night. In the fourth minute, Kawahara stymied the U.S. again with a great save as Johnny Torres was on a break away.

The U.S. went ahead in the 14th minute on a play that began with the U.S. caught in a rare defensive miscue. Kiyoshi Sagane found himself behind the U.S. defense just over midfield and dribbled in alone on U.S. goalkeeper Brett Phillips. Phillips came off his line to make a great save that rebounded to Japanese captain Kenta Fujii at midfield. U.S. midfielder Andy Guastaferro was able to tap the ball away and create a break the other way for the U.S. Alone vs. the goalkeeper, Guastaferro drilled a low shot that the goalkeeper was able to get just a piece of with the inside of his left leg before the ball rolled into the net. 

In the second half, the U.S. had three golden opportunities to build on the lead, the best coming in the 25th minute. Guastaferro was again involved in a dangerous chance on a counter attack. Dribbling down the right side, he drilled a low ball past the goalkeeper and to Lee Tschantret at the far post. Tschantret couldn’t redirect the ball far enough back toward goal as he hit the left post from just one yard out.

With Japan pressing forward in the 34th minute, Todd Dusosky turned on a ball at midfield and had Pat Morris all alone to his left. A pass that would have set up a perfect shot for the lefty Morris was just about a step behind when it finally came. The final chance came after Japan brought on a fifth attacker for their goalkeeper, beginning in the 34th minute. John Ball was on the counter attack and was in with only the fifth attacker retreating to goal. His low shot was kicked away in desperation, keeping Japan’s hopes alive.

Japan answered the U.S. to tie the game in the 39th minute. Kenichiro Kogure, a dangerous target forward who created opportunities all game, was credited with the goal despite the fact that the ball appeared to be redirected into the goal with his left arm. Osamu Nabata of Japan played a hard ball at chest level from the top right of the U.S. defense, and, as Kogure attempted to move to settle the ball with this back to goal, he got a piece of the pass with his arm and the ball went just inside the right post.

The U.S., however, gave up only two more shots in the final minute and a half and was able to keep the ball in the Japan end of the field with a pair of corner kicks to burn off the remaining time. When the game had ended, the U.S. awaited word from Linkou Gymnasium where Italy had a 4-2 lead on Paraguay in the 36th minute. The final moments took longer with two yellow cards and a red card issued, but finally the final seconds ticked off and Italy held on for the win.

As the second place team in Group C, the U.S. will join Ukraine, the second place team from Group A, in a four team group for the second stage. The U.S. will continue against either Argentina or Portugal on Nov. 29 at the National Taipei University New Gymnasium, and then faces Ukraine just 24 hours later in the same venue. The final match of the second stage for the U.S. is likely to be Brazil, who needs to beat the Czech Republic head to head to advance as the first place team in Group B. The final matches of the first group stage will be played on Friday, Nov. 26.

This is the best showing for the U.S. since they finished behind only Brazil in the second FIFA Futsal World Championship in 1992. The U.S. also finished top four at the first FIFA Futsal World Championship with a third place finish in 1989.

- U.S. National Futsal Team Game Report -

Participants:  U.S. National Futsal Team vs. Japan
Competition: FIFA Futsal World Championship 2004
Location: National Taiwan University New Gymnasium; Taipei City, Taiwan
Date: November 25, 2004
Attendance: 2,150 est.

Scoring Summary:
                        1st     2nd     Final
Japan               0        1          1
United States  1        0          1

USA – Andy Guastaferro  14th minute
JPN – Kenichiro Kogure   39th minute

USA – 12-Brett Phillips, 5-Todd Dusosky, 6-Sean Bowers, 8-Johnny Torres, 10-John Ball
Subs Used: 3-Lee Tschantret, 7-Pat White, 9-Greg Howes, 2-Andy Guastaferro, 11-Steve Butcher, , 14-Pat Morris
Did Not Play: 1-Scott Hileman
Not Available: 4-Jamar Beasley, 13-Joel Shanker
Head Coach: Keith Tozer

JPN – 1-Hisamitsu Kawahara, 2-Takuya Suzumura, 5-Rikarudo Higa, 8-Kenta Fugii, 10-Kenichiro Kogure
Subs Used: 6-Osamu Nambata, 3-Yoshifumi Maeda, 13-Kensuke Takahashi, 7-Yuki Kanayama, 9-Daisuke Ono, 11-Kiyoshi Sagane
Did Not Play: 12-Hisao Sadanaga
Not Available: 4-Yusuke Komiyama, 14-Ryota Ishiwata
Head Coach: Sergio Filho

Stats Summary
               USA JAP
Shots      21     25
SOG       11     15
Corners    9       2 
Fouls     3/3    4/4
Saves    14     10

Misconduct Summary:

Match Officials:
Referee: Seyed Sadreddin Moosavi (IRN)
Second Referee: Pedro Galan (ESP)
Third Referee: Robert Porritt (AUS)
Timekeeper: Nolido Paixao (BRA)

Group C Standings
          GP W L  T PTS GF GA  GD
ITA      3   3  0  0    9   15     5   +10
USA   3   1  1  1    4     7      8     -1
PAR   3   1  2  0    3     8    11     -3
JPN    3   0  2  1    1     5    11     -6

Group C Schedule/Results
Date       Match/Result  Venue; City      Local/ET TV Delay: ET - CT - PT
Nov. 21  Italy 6, USA 3  Linkou Gymnasium; Tao Yuan County    -  -
               Paraguay 5, Japan 4 Linkou Gymnasium; Tao Yuan County    -  -
Nov. 23  USA 3, Paraguay 1 Linkou Gymnasium; Tao Yuan County -  -
                Italy 5, Japan 0  Linkou Gymnasium; Tao Yuan County -  -
Nov. 25  USA 1, Japan 1  National Taiwan University; Taipei City -  12 a.m. - 11 p.m. - 12 a.m.
               Paraguay 2, Italy 4 Linkou Gymnasium; Tao Yuan County -

Group A
         GP W  L  T PTS GF GA  GD
ESP  3    3  0  0    9    19    0   +19
UKR  3    2  1  0    6    12    8     +4
EGY  3    1  2  0    3    16   12    +4
TPE  3    0  3  0    0      2    29  -27

Group A Schedule/Results
Date        Match/Result   Venue; City      Local/ET 
Nov. 21   Chinese Taipei 0, Egypt 12 National Taiwan University; Taipei City
                Spain 2, Ukraine 0  National Taiwan University; Taipei City 
Nov. 23   Chinese Taipei 0, Spain 10 National Taiwan University; Taipei City 
                Egypt 4, Ukraine 5  National Taiwan University; Taipei City 
Nov. 25   Ukraine 7, Chinese Taipei 2 National Taiwan University; Taipei City 
                Egypt 0, Spain 7  Linkou Gymnasium; Tao Yuan County 

Group B Standings
          GP W  L  T PTS GF GA  GD
BRA   2    2   0  0   6    19    1   +18
CZE   2    2   0  0   6      7     1    +6
THA   2    0   2  0   0      2   11     -9
AUS   2    0   2  0  0      0    15   -15

Group B Schedule/Results
Date       Match/Result   Venue; City      Local/ET 
Nov. 22  Australia 0, Brazil 10  National Taiwan University; Taipei City 
 Czech Republic 2, Thailand 1 National Taiwan University; Taipei City 
Nov. 24 Australia 0, Czech Republic 5 National Taiwan University; Taipei City 
 Brazil 9, Thailand 1  National Taiwan University; Taipei City 
Nov. 26 Thailand vs. Australia  National Taiwan University; Taipei City 6 p.m. / 5 a.m.
 Brazil vs. Czech Republic Linkou Gymnasium; Tao Yuan County 6 p.m. / 5 a.m.

Group D Standings
            GP W   L   T PTS GF GA   GD
ARG     2    2   0   0    6     4     0     +4
POR     2    1   1   0    3     4     1     +3
IRN       2    1   1   0    3     8     7     +1
CUB     2    0   2   0    0     3    11     -8

Group D Schedule/Results
Date        Match/Result                  Venue; City      Local/ET 
Nov. 22   Iran 0, Portugal 4            Linkou Gymnasium; Tao Yuan County 
                Cuba 0, Argentina 3       Linkou Gymnasium; Tao Yuan County 
Nov. 24   Iran 8, Cuba 3                 Linkou Gymnasium; Tao Yuan County 
                Portugal 0, Argentina 1  Linkou Gymnasium; Tao Yuan County 
Nov. 26   Argentina vs. Iran            Linkou Gymnasium; Tao Yuan County 8 p.m. / 7 a.m.
                Portugal vs. Cuba           National Taiwan University; Taipei City 8 p.m. / 7 a.m.

Second Group Stage
Group E                                 Group F
Brazil or Czech Republic     Spain
Argentina or Portugal           Italy
Ukraine                                  Brazil or Czech Republic 
United States                        Argentina or Portugal

Date Match      Venue; City    Local/ET
Nov. 28 Brazil/Czech Rep. vs. Ukraine   National Taiwan University; Taipei City 4 p.m. / 3 a.m.
Nov. 28 Argentina/Portugal vs. United States  National Taiwan University; Taipei City 6 p.m. / 5 a.m.
Nov. 28 Spain vs. Brazil/Czech Rep.    Linkou Gymnasium; Tao Yuan County 4 p.m. / 3 a.m.
Nov. 28 Italy vs. Argentina or Portugal   Linkou Gymnasium; Tao Yuan County 6 p.m. / 5 a.m.
Nov. 29 Brazil/Czech Rep. vs. Argentina or Portugal National Taiwan University; Taipei City 6 p.m. / 5 a.m.
Nov. 29 Ukraine vs. United States   National Taiwan University; Taipei City 8 p.m. / 7 a.m.
Nov. 29 Spain vs. Italy     Linkou Gymnasium; Tao Yuan County 6 p.m. / 5 a.m.
Nov. 29 Brazil/Czech Rep. vs. Argentina or Portugal Linkou Gymnasium; Tao Yuan County 8 p.m. / 7 a.m.
Dec. 1  Brazil/Czech Rep. vs. United States  National Taiwan University; Taipei City 6 p.m. / 5 a.m.
Dec. 1  Ukraine vs. Argentina or Portugal  Linkou Gymnasium; Tao Yuan County 6 p.m. / 5 a.m.
Dec. 1  Spain vs. Argentina or Portugal   Linkou Gymnasium; Tao Yuan County 8 p.m. / 7 a.m.
Dec. 1  Brazil/Czech Rep. vs. Italy   National Taiwan University; Taipei City 8 p.m. / 7 a.m.

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