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U.S. U-20 Men Arrive in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, for Second Round Match Versus Spain on Thursday


PORT HARCOURT, Nigeria (Tuesday, April 13, 1999) - The U.S. Under-20 National Team arrived by charter flight yesterday to this city in the far south of Nigeria, where they will prepare for Thursday's (April 15) Round of 16 match versus Spain in the FIFA World Youth Championship (Nigeria '99). The U.S., who finished second in Nigeria '99s Group E, will face a Spanish team that topped Group F.

"We're very much aware that Spain is one of the top teams in this tournament," said U.S. head coach Sigi Schmid. "But we've demonstrated in our three games that we play our best when we're under pressure to get a result, so I think this will be a good match for us."

The U.S. team played Spain earlier this year (January 26) during the 1999 Copa de Atlantico in the Canary Islands, and lost to the Europeans, 1-0. Spain topped Nigeria '99s Group E by defeating Brazil (2-0) and Honduras (3-1), and tying Zambia (0-0). The Spaniards are led by star midfielder Gabri, who scored both goals against Brazil, and forwards Francisco Yeste and Pablo.

Following is a look at how the match-ups break down through the quarterfinals of the 1999 FIFA World Youth Championship in Nigeria.

1999 FIFA WORLD YOUTH CHAMPIONSHIP
Second Round Match-Ups
#April 14, 1999CityKickoffQuarterfinal Pairings
(6)Ireland vs. NigeriaKano11 a.m. ETMeet Game 5 winner April 18 in Enugu (11 a.m. ET)
(8)Ghana vs. Costa RicaKaduna11 a.m. ETMeet Game 7 winner April 18 in Kaduna (2 p.m. ET)
(1)Paraguay vs. UruguayLagos2 p.m. ETMeet Game 2 winner April 18 in Lagos (11 a.m. ET)
(2)Brazil vs. CroatiaCalabar2 p.m. ETMeet Game 1 winner April 18 in Lagos (11 a.m. ET)
#April 15, 1999CityKickoffQuarterfinal Pairings
(7)Spain vs. United StatesPort Harcourt11 a.m. ETMeet Game 8 winner April 18 in Kaduna (2 p.m. ET)
(3)Japan vs. PortugalBauchi11 a.m. ETMeet Game 4 winner April 18 in Ibadan (2 p.m. ET)
(4)Mexico vs. ArgentinaIbadan2 p.m. ETMeet Game 3 winner April 18 in Ibadan (2 p.m. ET)
(5)Mali vs. CameroonEnugu2 p.m. ETMeet Game 6 winner April 18 in Enugu (11 a.m. ET)

Sunday, April 18
Quarterfnals
Paraguay/Uruguay winner vs. Brazil/Croatia winnerLagos4 p.m. (11 a.m. ET)
Mali/Cameroon winner vs. Ireland/Nigeria winnerEnugu4 p.m. (11 a.m. ET)
Japan/Portugal winner vs. Mexico/Argentina winnerIbadan7 p.m. (2 p.m. ET)
Spain/USA winner vs. Ghana/Costa Rica winnerKaduna7 p.m. (2 p.m. ET)

How they got here...
First Round Results in the 1999 FIFA World Youth Championship
United States (Second Place, Group E)Spain (First Place, Group F)
DateOpponentResultU.S. Goal ScorersOpponentResultSpain Goal Scorers
April 5England1-0 WDan CaliffBrazil2-0 WGabri (2)
April 8Japan1-3 LRyan FutagakiZambia0-0 T--
April 11Cameroon3-1 WTaylor Twellman (2),
Carlos Bocanegra
Honduras3-1 WPablo, Fernando
Varela, Ruben

SECOND ROUND BERTH NOT UNEXPECTED: The U.S. team fully intended on advancing out of the opening round in Nigeria, even though Group E proved to have the most parity among the four teams. Group E was the only group that had three separate teams (Japan, USA and Cameroon) on six points at the end of the round-robin play. Including Nigeria '99, the U.S. has now advanced into the second round of each of the last four World Youth Championships it has competed in - Saudi Arabia '89, Australia '93, Malaysia '97 and Nigeria '99.

BETTERING THE TWO WIN MARK: One milestone the U.S. has set for itself is to be the first U.S. team to win more than two matches at the World Youth Championship. The 1989 squad won two matches (2-0 over East Germany and 2-1 over Iraq in the quarterfinals) en route to a semifinal appearance. The U.S. will be shooting for win number three on Thursday against Spain.

GOLDEN GOAL RULE IN PLACE: As the tournament is now in the knockout phase, matches that end in a draw will go into overtime. The overtime period will consist of two, fifteen-minute periods which will be immediately stopped if one team should score the "golden goal." The "Golden Goal" rule has been used by FIFA since the 1993 World Youth Championship in Australia and become a regular feature of FIFA's youth competitions, Olympic football competitions, Confederations Cup and World Cup. In the USA's only overtime match played in a world youth championship, the '89 U.S. team in Saudi Arabia lost 2-1 to Nigeria in the semifinals of the tournament. That match was NOT decided by the "Golden Goal."

AN ATTACKING MENTALITY? A WINNING MENTALITY: After 36, opening-round matches in Nigeria, the clear choice for most teams has been to play an attacking brand of soccer. In these 36 matches, 102 goals have been scored, an average of 2.83 goals scored per match. Additionally, there were only three matches that ended scoreless, and six in total that ended in a draw. Brazil led all teams with 8 goals in the opening round, while three teams scored six goals (Japan, Ireland and Croatia) and a further five teams (United States, Paraguay, Ghana, Spain and Mexico) found the net five times.

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