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U.S. Futsal Team Downs Paraguay 3-1 in FIFA Futsal World Championship

TAO YUAN COUNTY, Taiwan (Tuesday, November 23, 2004) – The U.S. Futsal National Team put itself in position to qualify for the second group stage of the FIFA Futsal World Championship 2004 with a 3-1 victory over Paraguay on Tuesday night in Linkou Gymnasium.

The U.S. withstood constant pressure from Paraguay and uncharacteristically created many of their chances on the counter attack. For the second straight game, the U.S. scored on a corner kick, as three of the six U.S. goals have now come on corners. Johnny Torres scored for the second straight game as well, and John Ball assisted on two of the U.S. goals to run his tournament total to three assists. Goalkeeper Brett Phillips was a rock for the U.S., making 13 saves.

“It was an important match for both teams,” said U.S. head coach Keith Tozer. “We felt that it was very important to score first to get our rhythm going. We have a lot of respect for Paraguay. They are very quick, and we expected a lot of energy tonight because they pressured us the entire game.”  

The U.S. almost struck in the fourth minute. Todd Dusosky, with his back to goal, received the ball and from seven yards out turned and fired shot off the intersection of the post and crossbar.

The U.S. got on the board first for the second consecutive game, again creating a goal with high defensive pressure. Like his roommate and Milwaukee Wave teammate Torres did two nights ago, Pat White was able to take advantage of a Paraguay mistake to give the U.S. a 1-0 lead in the eighth minute. He stole the ball from the man he was marking just outside of the penalty area, and fired a low shot into the goal once he was able to get over the ball.

Phillips, playing in this first game after arriving in Taiwan four days after the rest of the team due to the birth of his third daughter, came up huge for the U.S. early and often. He had to make a total of nine saves on 15 Paraguay shots in the first half, including saving six consecutive shots at one point. By comparison, the U.S. only had seven shots in the half, but made their fourth count on the goal by White.

In the second half, the U.S. came out and put more pressure on Paraguay. Eight of 13 U.S. shots were on goal, and three other chances just rolled narrowly wide. Midway through the half, with Paraguay goalkeeper Marcos Miranda coming well out of his area in an attempt to win the ball, Andy Guastaferro pushed a half-court shot just wide to the left of the vacated net.

In the 33rd minute, Lee Tschantret drilled a low shot from a very tight angle on the left wing past Miranda and into the right side of the net for a 2-0 U.S. lead. John Ball settled a long goal throw from Phillips and was able to find Tschantret running free on the opposite side. He crossed the ball and Tschantret collected the ball toward the corner before his skillful finish just a few feet off the end line.

Three minutes later, the U.S. again almost scored on a counter. Jamar Beasley used his speed to break down the left side, but Miranda came out and made a good positional save as the defenders took away any passing options.

Paraguay immediately was looking for the answer, and appeared to briefly solve the puzzling U.S. defense. With five minutes to play, Jose Rotella and Rene Villalba hit the post on back-to-back scoring chances. Both shots had beaten U.S. goalkeeper Brett Phillips, and hit the post so hard that they moved the goal out of place. They would feed off that momentum to score their only goal of the night in the 37th minute. Rene Villalba drove a low ball into the area from the wing, and Carlos Alberto Villalba roofed the ball into the top of the net.

The U.S. took the wind out of Paraguay’s sail just moments later. Greg Howes won a corner for the U.S. on the right side with a one-on-one effort. He tried to take the corner quickly and Ball sliced through the area, but the referee stepped in front of him to change positions. When Howes finally took the corner, Ball settled near the top right of the penalty area. He found Torres all alone at the top left of the area with a fancy chip that was volleyed first time underneath the sprawling goalkeeper. Torres leads the team with two goals at the World Championship, and now has six goals in nine career appearances. Six goals puts him tied for 14th on the all-time scoring chart for the U.S.

The U.S. is now tied for second in Group C with three points along with Paraguay. Italy is in the top position with six points and a +8 goal differential. The U.S. leads Paraguay for the second spot by virtue of their head to head victory, the fourth tiebreaker. Below are the scenarios for the U.S.

The U.S. will conclude group play on Thursday, Nov. 25 at 8 p.m. local time as the team changes venues to the National Taipei University to face Japan. At the same time in Linkou Gymnasium, Italy and Paraguay will play the other final match from Group C. Thursday’s match will be available live via’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.

On the night, Bowers became the most capped player in team history. A veteran of the team since 1996, he earned his 31st cap with the appearance, passing Jim Gabarra who had 30 in his career that spanned from 10 years from 1986 to 1996.

The win over Paraguay was the first victory for the U.S. over an opponent outside of the CONCACAF Region since a 4-0 victory against Korea Republic on Dec. 2, 1999. It was the first win over a South American opponent since Nov. 25, 1992 when the U.S. topped Argentina 6-3 in the quarterfinals of the second FIFA Futsal World Championship 1992.

- U.S. wins, and Paraguay doesn't win.
- U.S. ties, and Italy wins.
- U.S. ties, and Italy-Paraguay ties: U.S. would advance if there are more goals in our game.
- U.S. wins, and Paraguay wins: U.S. would advance if the team wins by more goals than Paraguay (and if the differential is the same, the U.S. must score more goals than Paraguay).
- U.S. loses, and Paraguay loses: U.S. would advance if the team can finish with a better goal-differential than both Paraguay and Japan.

- U.S. ties, and Paraguay wins.
- U.S. loses, and Paraguay wins or ties.
- U.S. loses, and Paraguay loses: U.S. eliminated if they do not end up with a better goal-differential than both Paraguay and Japan.
- U.S. wins, and Paraguay wins: U.S. eliminated if Paraguay wins by more goals than the U.S.  (and if the differential is the same, the U.S. is eliminated if Paraguay scores as many or more goals).

- U.S. National Futsal Team Game Report -

Participants:  U.S. National Futsal Team vs. Paraguay
Competition: FIFA Futsal World Championship 2004
Location: Linkou Gymnasium; Tao Yuan County, Taiwan
Date: November 23, 2004
Attendance: 500

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

USA – Pat White                8th minute
USA – Lee Tschantret (John Ball)        33.
PAR – Carlos Alberto Villalba (Rene Villalba)    37.
USA – Johnny Torres (John Ball)        38.

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

PAR – 12-Marcos Miranda, 3-Fabio Alcaraz, 5-Carlos Chilavert, 10-Walter Villalba, 14-Rene Villalba
Subs Used: 4-Gabriel Ayala, 6-Hebert Gimenez, 13-Alberto Benitez, 8-Sergio Araujo, 9-Carlos Villalba, 11-Jose Rotella
Did Not Play: 1-Cristhian Acuna
Not Available: 2-Emmanuel Ayala, 7-Oscar Velazquez
Head Coach: Adolfo Ruiz

Stats Summary
    USA    PAR
Shots    21    36
SOG    10    20
Corners    6    13    
Fouls    5/3    5/4
Saves    13    7

Misconduct Summary:
PAR – Carlos Alberto Villalba     13th minute

Match Officials:
Referee: Juan Carlos Sciancalepore (ARG)
Second Referee: Ching Hau Sheen (TPE)
Third Referee: Mohamed Ibrahim Farag (EGY)
Timekeeper: Pedro Galan (ESP)