U.S. Pounds Chile 4-1 in World Youth Championship; Beasley Paces Under-20 Attack with Two Goals, Assist
"We changed our formation a little bit and we brought in a couple of new players and they did very well today," U.S. head coach Wolfgang Suhnholz said. "I am very happy with the performance and am happy with the situation we are in. We are playing a very tough Ukraine team, but it is great to know that we are able to put ourselves into the next round with a win."
Beasley, who was named the Most Outstanding Player of the CONCACAF Under-20 qualifying tournament after recording three goals and four assists in his only other action with the Under-20s this year, picked up where he left off with two first-half goals against the South American squad. Beasley knocked in his first goal of the evening in the sixth minute on the USA's first shot of the day. Landon Donovan played a ball wide to Convey, who created space for himself and trouble for Chile on the left flank all evening long. Convey's pinpoint cross from the left found Beasley in the penalty box, and the Chicago Fire midfielder one-timed it into the net for his first of the evening. In five international appearances in 2001, Beasley has now recorded an amazing five goals and five assists.
After Chile temporarily equalized in the 28th minute, the United States jumped ahead again at the end of the first half, and again it was through Beasley. Donovan played a ball into the box from the left side and Kyle Martino threw himself at the ball at the near post trying to head home the winner. He was unable to reach the ball, but Chile goalkeeper Jhonny Herrera could only punch the ball and it rolled straight to Beasley, who finished from seven yards out.
The United States continued their offensive assault in the second half, and again it was Convey who found space on the left side of the box and whipped in a left-footed cross. Brad Davis, who replaced Kyle Martino in the second half, leapt high above a Chilean defender and headed home his third international goal of the year. Herrera made an effort to knock the ball out of the net, but referee Jagdeesh Bhimull ruled that the ball had crossed the line in the 69th minute. It was the third international goal of 2001 for Davis, and all three have come in tournament matches when he has come off the bench.
The USA's fourth goal was much-deserved and was also a thing of beauty. It started after Beasley was fouled near the left touchline 45 yards from goal in the 76th minute. Donovan played a quick restart down the line to Convey, who played a diagonal ball toward the box for Beasley. Beasley carried the ball toward goal, but then played a ball square across the face of the goal that an onrushing Edson Buddle hammered home from 11 yards out for one of the prettiest goals of the tournament. The goal was just Buddle's second international goal.
"The bottom line is that we wanted it more," Beasley said. "We didn't come here to lose, we didn't come here to bow down to every other team. We came here to win. We came here to get out of our group. And we played well today and hopefully we can play well against Ukraine."
After being shutout for the second consecutive international on Sunday, Suhnholz shuffled his line-up and tried the new partnership of Buddle and Beasley up top. The play of the two MLS standouts made Suhnholz look like a genius, as the duo's combination of pace and talent proved too much for the Chilean backline. Suhnholz's line-up also underwent some changes as starters Philip Salyer and Kelly Gray fell ill to a tourista bug that has struck the U.S. team. Ricky Lewis and Brian Carroll stepped in to the starting line-up for the U.S., and helped the U.S. to their most important win of the year.
While the U.S. offense finally regained its high-octane attack, it may have been the USA's stable, steady rock in back who was most responsible for the final scoreline. U.S. goalkeeper D.J. Countess came up huge for the United States throughout the match, allowing the U.S. to run away with a tight game. Countess began the afternoon by making two saves in the first two minutes - including a one-on-one save on Mario Salgado - and he got better as the afternoon went on.
Countess made several acrobatic saves that thrilled the partisan crowd, but none more amazing than his save of a bending-Hugo Droguett blast from 20 yards that he pushed over the bar. Countess also made two huge saves in the 57th minute to secure a second-half shutout and three points for the United States. Countess finished the match with nine saves.
Chile temporarily equalized the score in the 28th minute, as Jaime Valdes knocked in a rebound after Countess did well to save Salgado's close range shot.
In other matches on Wednesday, China and Ukraine played to a 0-0 draw. Brazil hammered Iraq 6-1, Argentina cruised past Egypt 7-1, Germany beat Canada 4-0 and Finland squeaked by Jamaica 1-0. Matches continue tomorrow for Groups D, E and F, and then all 24 teams have June 22 off, before 12 of the 24 teams continue play on the June 23.
Notes: The U.S. team wore their all-white jerseys, shorts and socks ... The Chileans wore their traditional red kits ... The match was the first international Salyer has not appeared in with the Under-20s ... Akwari is now the only player to appear in all 14 U.S. internationals over the last two years ... The U.S. team has never lost its first two matches of the World Youth Championship ... The U.S. goal ended a 211-minute international scoreless streak that dates back to the 45th minute of the USA's 1-3 loss to Colombia in the Toulon Festival on May 26 ... Eskandarian scored the U.S. goal in the loss to Colombia ... Chile qualified for Argentina '01 with a fourth-place finish at the 2001 CONMEBOL Under-20 Championships .... The USA's bus was delayed on the ride back to the hotel after the match by anti-government protesters ... The huge crowd was very pro-American, as the Argentines seized the opportunity to root against their rivals and neighbors ... Some of the loudest cheers of the game came when word spread through the crowd that Argentina scored against Egypt.
2001 U.S. UNDER-20 MEN'S NATIONAL TEAM GAME REPORT
|Participants:||U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team vs. Chile|
|Competition:||XIth World Youth Championship, Group C|
|Venue:||Malvinas Argentinas (Mendoza, Argentina)|
|Date:||June 20, 2001 - Kickoff 3:45 p.m. ET|
|Weather:||55 degrees (Sunny, Clear)|
USA - DaMarcus Beasley (Bobby Convey), 6.
CHI - Jaime Valdez, 28.
USA - DaMarcus Beasley, 40.
USA - Brad Davis (Convey), 69.
USA - Edson Buddle (Beasley), 76.
USA - 1-D.J. Countess; 12-Ricky Lewis, 5- Alex Yi, 4-Nelson Akwari - capt., 3-Oguchi Onyewu; 11-Bobby Convey, 15-Brian Carroll, 13-Kyle Martino (9-Brad Davis, 51), 10-Landon Donovan; 7-DaMarcus Beasley, 17-Edson Buddle (8-Alecko Eskandarian, 83).
CHI - 1-Johnny Herrera; 3-Daniel Campos, 4-Hugo Droguett, 5-Luis Oyarzun, 6-Nelson Pinto, 7-Gonzalo Villagra, 9-Mario Caceres, 10-Jaime Valdes, 11-Mario Salgado (2-Sergio Fernandez, 46), 13-Gino Reyes (8-Sebastian Pardo, 74), 17-Rodrigo Millar.
CHI - Rodrigo Millar (caution), 63.
CHI - Daniel Campos (caution), 82.