Under-17s Use Second-Half Explosion to Top Canada, 4-2; Ed Johnson Tallies Two Goals in Romp
ST. LOUIS (Friday, April 20, 2001) - After a first-half deadlock, the United States Under-17 Men's National Team turned on the offensive firepower in the second half to pull away for a 4-2 win against Canada in front of 2,564 fans at Saint Louis University's Robert R. Hermann Stadium. Forward Ed Johnson paced the way for the United States with two goals, as the U.S. won to stay atop Group A of the CONCACAF qualifying tournament. The U.S. will clinch a spot in the 2001 FIFA Under-17 World Championship with a win or a draw in the final match of the tournament against El Salvador at 4 p.m. on Sunday. The match will be televised live on Galavision.
As they did in Wednesday's 2-1 win against Jamaica, the U.S. used a late second-half explosion to secure the win. After the first half ended with the teams even at 1-1, the U.S. scored three times between the 59th and 69th minutes to grab three points and send the partisan U.S. crowd home happy.
"The team played well at times tonight, and, as they did on Wednesday, we turned it on in the second half," U.S. head coach John Ellinger said. "But this team still has a lot of good soccer in it, and we are going to need it against a very good El Salvador team on Sunday."
Four minutes after Craig Capano scored in the 59th minute to give the U.S. a 2-1 lead, Ed Johnson scored his second goal of the night with a beautiful solo effort that started inside of his own half. The Dallas Burn striker burned four Canadian defenders on a 45-yard run through the Canadian defense that ended with a delicate chip over the stranded Canadian goalkeeper Sasha Bokovic. With two goals against Canada, Johnson now has 16 goals in 17 internationals.
U.S. defender Chris Lancos finalized the U.S. scoreline with an eight-yard blast in the 69th minute. Second-half substitute Justin Mapp sent in a cornerkick from the right side that Chad Marshall attempted to put on goal, but the deflection bounced out to Lancos, who one-timed it into the net. It was Lancos' first international goal.
Ed Johnson opened up the scoring for the United States in the 14th minute, running onto a brilliant Santio Quaranta through ball. Quaranta collected the ball near the midline and hit a left-footed pass behind the defense that Johnson ran onto and with his second touch calmly slid the ball under a sliding Boskovic.
After Johnson put the U.S. ahead, the Canadians began to control the midfield and the run of play. U.S. goalkeeper Adam Schuerman did well to hold Canada scoreless for the first 31 minutes. The Canadian attack forced Schuerman into back-to-back saves in the 24th minute. In the game, the U.S. netminder made seven saves.
Canada equalized in the 32nd minute when Wyn Belotte scored a deserved goal for the Canadians. Nikolas Ledgerwood sent a cross into the goalmouth and amid a wild scramble in front of the goal, Belotte managed to knock the ball into the net while lying on the ground.
Capano, who assisted on the gamewinner in Wednesday's match, put the U.S. ahead in the 59th minute when a loose ball bounced out of the six-yard box and the USA's youngest player hammered it home from 11 yards out. Mapp, who came on at half for Erwin Diaz, beat a Canadian defender on the left wing and took the ball to the endline before swinging a cross into the penalty box. The ball took a deflection and bounced to Capano, who made no mistake with the finish.
With the outcome decided, Belotte scored his second goal of the game in the 77th minute, knocking in a rebound from close range after Schuerman saved a Umbertino Cucca shot from the left wing.
The U.S. will qualify for an unprecedented ninth consecutive Under-17 World Championship with a win or a draw against El Salvador on Sunday. The U.S. is the only country to play in every FIFA World Championship at the Under-17 (previously Under-16) level.
Ironically, it was El Salvador that the U.S. topped in a two-game playoff series to qualify for the 1999 FIFA Under-17 World Championship. The U.S. topped El Salvador 10-1 on aggregate score to advance to the championship, where they eventually finished fourth.
El Salvador set up the tournament-deciding finale with a 3-0 win against Jamaica. El Salvador shocked the Jamaicans with a Dennis Morales goal in the 4th minute. El Salvador controlled the rest of the game and scored two goals in the second half to cruise to a comfortable victory. Jose Ochoa had one goal and one assist for the victors.
%=macroPart|font/arialBlue3=%Game Notes: The U.S. wore red jerseys, blue shorts and red socks .... Jordan Harvey wore the captain's armband for the United States ... Canadian defender Sita Taty Matondo sat out the match after receiving a red card in the opener against El Salvador ... The high wind blew over one of the shields that protects the team bench before the kick-off of the El Salvador - Jamaica match ... The U.S. Men's National Team and coaching staff were attendance at the match ... Lancos' and Capano's goals were both their first international goals of their Under-17 careers ... Quaranta's assist was his team-leading fourth international assist of 2001 ... Johnson has now scored in five of the last six U.S. international matches ... Ten of the players that played for the U.S. also appeared in the 4-1 win against Canada on August 12, 2000.
2001 U.S. UNDER-17 MEN'S NATIONAL TEAM GAME REPORT
|Participants:||U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team vs. Canada|
|Competition:||CONCACAF Group A Qualifying for Trinidad & Tobago '01|
|Venue:||Robert R. Hermann Stadium (St. Louis, Mo.)|
|Date:||April 20, 2001 - Kickoff 7:00 p.m. CT|
|Weather:||62 degrees (Cool, Windy)|
USA - Ed Johnson (Santino Quaranta), 14.
CAN - Wyn Belotte (unassisted), 32.
USA - Craig Capano (unassisted), 59.
USA - Ed Johnson (unassisted), 64.
USA - Chris Lancos (unassisted), 69.
CAN - Wyn Belotte (unassisted), 77.
USA - 18-Adam Schuerman; 6-Chris Lancos, 8-Jordan Harvey (Capt.), 12-Gray Griffin, 14-Chad Marshall; 15-Jordan Stone, 16-Craig Capano, 7-Mike Magee (13-David Johnson, 46), 9-Santino Quaranta; 17-Erwin Diaz (3-Justin Mapp, 46), 10-Ed Johnson.
CAN - 1-Sasha Boskovic; 3-Simon Kassave, 5-Liam Girard, 4-Peters Eustache, 6-Nikolas Ledgerwood; 8-Matthew O'Connor; 9-Francesco Bruno (11-Milad Rahmati, 67), 13-Umbertino Cucca, 7-Jason DiTullio (Capt.); 10-Wyn Belotte, 12-Franco Lalli (14-Jeremy Shepherd, 81).
CAN - Alexander Boskovic (caution), 5.
CAN - Franco Lalli (caution), 44.
USA - Chad Marshall (caution), 61.