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Ukraine Eliminates U.S. From FIFA Futsal World Championship with 3-1 Final Tally


-Torres Scores Fourth Goal of Tournament in Loss
-Match Broadcast Tape Delay on Galavision at 10 p.m. ET/9 p.m. CT/10 p.m. PT
-U.S. To Face Brazil on Wednesday in Final Group F Match

TAIPEI CITY, Taiwan (Monday, November 29, 2004) – The United States was eliminated from the FIFA Futsal World Championship Chinese Taipei 2004 with a 3-1 loss to Ukraine on Sunday night at the National Taiwan University New Gymnasium.

After advancing to the second stage for the first time since 1992, the U.S. has zero points in Group F. Brazil leads the group with six points after a 2-1 win over Argentina, while Ukraine and Argentina are at three points each and will do battle on the final match day for the second semifinal spot from the group. The U.S. closes out group play on Wednesday vs. Brazil.

For the second consecutive game, the U.S. gave up the first goal of the match. Ukraine’s Sergiy Sytin did the damage with just 1:01 remaining in the first half. Just 15 seconds later, the U.S. answered as midfielder Johnny Torres notched his team-high fourth goal of the tournament. Despite the best efforts by goalkeeper Scott Hileman and the U.S. defense, Ukraine scored again in the 24th minute for a 2-1 lead. The U.S. had chances to equalize down the stretch, but gave up a final goal in the 40th minute with the fifth attacker on.

“Having such a big game for a team that has never played in a big game like this affected them a little bit,” U.S. head coach Keith Tozer said. “Once we got the first five or six minutes out of our tanks, I thought we played extremely well. We battled until the end. We had opportunities to tie the game and to go ahead. We hit the crossbar, we had an extra attacker.

“This is a group of guys who do not play a lot of futsal. I am extremely proud of them. They showed a lot of people that we can play with the best teams in this tournament.”

The game began with Ukraine shooting every time they had a chance – which was often. Hileman came up big with nine of his 17 saves coming in the first half. In the ninth minute, Hileman saved a difficult shot on a restart by Fedir Pylypiv, and then made perhaps his best save of the game as he tipped a low rebound shot by Oleg Shantenov wide of his left post. In the ensuing sequence, John Ball blocked three shots inside the area, including two in a row.

With just more than a minute to play in the half, Steve Butcher’s shot was saved and created a counter attack for the Ukraine team, whose speed gives opponents trouble. Pylypiv, their fastest player on the ball, ran the break and dribbled in on Hileman, who came off his line to cut the angle. Pylypiv then slotted the ball to his right where Sytin closed and scored first time from inside the area before Hileman could recover.

The U.S., however, would recover. Forward Greg Howes got the ball with his back to goal on the right side of the area, and was able to dribble in past his two defenders. Howes cut the ball to an unmarked Torres at the top of the penalty area, who drilled the ball through a little traffic to level things at one going into halftime.

Ukraine took the lead in the 24th minute, after a handful of good chances to open the second half. Sytin was again the culprit, as he was able to turn, touch the ball outside toward the right corner and then cut a low blast that Hileman could not reach. The U.S. almost bounced right back again, but Butcher’s chance near the top of the area was saved after Joel Shanker put the ball right to his feet.

After Sytin had two good chances turned away – one by Hileman and one by the post, the U.S. took control of the match late in the 27th minute. Howes had a shot that was turned out for a corner, and Pat Morris had a pair of shots including a rocket from distance that the goalkeeper turned to watch bounce off the cross bar

The U.S. had a two-minute man advantage opportunity after Georgii Melnikov was shown his second yellow card at the 10:19 mark for a dangerous challenge as Torres tried to volley a shot on the left side. Torres left the field with a right shoulder separation, but returned shortly thereafter and almost provided some late heroics. Playing a man up, the U.S. was able to get off three shots – but Ukraine goalkeeper Vasyl Sukhomlinov was up to the task each time.

Two of the best chances for the U.S. to equalize came in the 35th minute. Torres found space running up the center of the field with attackers on either wing. With a fake left and a touch to the right he got around Sergiy Koridze, who dove and reached out with both arms to take Torres down from behind. Despite being the last defender between Torres and the goalkeeper, the referee – perhaps apprehensive to give a second red card – only cautioned the Ukraine defender.  On the ensuing free kick, Morris again hit the crossbar.

In the waning minutes, the U.S. had even more good chances to score. After Jamar Beasley won a ball as the goalkeeper tried to dive on the ball, Todd Dusosky couldn’t get far enough behind the ball to turn it into the open net and sent the ball high over the target. The next shot came as Torres beat his man again on a one-on-one situation and hit a low shot from just inside the second penalty spot as he saw the goalkeeper’s legs open. The ball bounced off the inside of both of the goalkeeper’s legs before he turned around to dive on the ball. Torres and Dusosky each had one final crack at a goal, with the former shot saved and the latter wide right with just more than two minutes left.

- U.S. National Futsal Team Game Report -

Participants:  U.S. National Futsal Team vs. Ukraine
Competition: FIFA Futsal World Championship 2004, Second Group Stage
Location: National Taiwan University New Gymnasium; Taipei City, Taiwan
Date: November 29, 2004
Attendance: 1,200

Scoring Summary:
                        1st     2nd     Final
Ukraine             1       2           3
United States   1       0           1

UKR – Sergiy Sytin (Fedir Pylypiv) 19th minute
USA – Johnny Torres (Greg Howes) 20.
UKR – Sytin    24.
UKR – Vitaliy Nesteruk   40.

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

UKR – 12-Vasyl Sukhomlinov, 4-Sergiy Koridze, 6-Ramis Mansurov, 7-Georgii Melnikov, 9-Vitaliy Brunko
Subs Used: 2-Sergiy Sytin, 5-Oleg Shaytanov, 11- Fedir Pylypiv, 3-Vitaliy Nesteruk, 8-Olexandr Kosenko-C
Did Not Play: 1-Olexiy Popov, 13-Artem Kovalyov
Not Available: 10-Igor Moskvychov, 14-Kostyantyn Vlasenko
Head Coach: Gennadiy Lisenchuck

Stats Summary
                USA    UKR
Shots        26       37
SOG         13       20
Corners     6          7
Fouls        5/4      4/5
Saves       17       13

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Andy Guastaferro (caution) 6th minute
USA – John Ball (caution)  9.
UKR – Georgii Melnikov (caution) 12.
UKR – Melnikov (caution)  30.
UKR – Melnikov (ejection)  30.
UKR – Sergiy Koridze (caution)  35.


Match Officials:
Referee: Karoly Torok (HUN)
Second Referee: Carlos Del Cid (GUA)
Third Referee:  Nestor Valiente (PAR)
Timekeeper: Kazuya Isokawa (JPN)

Group E Standings
            GP W   L  T PTS  GF   GA   GD
POR     2    1   0  1    4      8       4     +4
ITA        2    1   0  1    4      3       2     +1
ESP     2    1   1  0    3      4       3     +1
CZE     2    0   2  0    0      4     10      -6

Group F Standings
          GP W   L   T PTS GF GA GD
BRA   2    2   0    0    6     8    1    +7
ARG   2    1   1    0    3     3    3     0
UKR   2    1   1    0    3     3    7    -4
USA   2    0   2    0    0     2    5    -3

Date Match    Venue; City    Local/ET
Nov. 28 Brazil 6, Ukraine 0  National Taiwan University; Taipei City 
Nov. 28 Argentina 2, United States 1 National Taiwan University; Taipei City 
Nov. 28 Spain 2, Czech Rep. 0  Linkou Gymnasium; Tao Yuan County 
Nov. 28 Italy 0, Portugal 0  Linkou Gymnasium; Tao Yuan County 
Nov. 29 Brazil 2, Argentina 1  National Taiwan University; Taipei City 
Nov. 29 Ukraine 3, United States 1 National Taiwan University; Taipei City 
Nov. 29 Spain 2, Italy 3   Linkou Gymnasium; Tao Yuan County 
Nov. 29 Czech Rep. 4, Portugal 8 Linkou Gymnasium; Tao Yuan County 
Dec. 1  Brazil vs. United States  National Taiwan University; Taipei City 6 p.m. / 5 a.m.
Dec. 1  Ukraine vs. Argentina   Linkou Gymnasium; Tao Yuan County 6 p.m. / 5 a.m.
Dec. 1  Spain vs. Portugal  Linkou Gymnasium; Tao Yuan County 8 p.m. / 7 a.m.
Dec. 1  Czech Rep. vs. Italy  National Taiwan University; Taipei City 8 p.m. / 7 a.m.

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