RICHMOND, Va. (Sunday, June 8, 2003) — In their final tune-up before the prestigious 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup, the U.S. Men's National Team defeated New Zealand, 2-1, today in front of 9,116 fans at the University of Richmond Stadium as part of a doubleheader with the A-League’s Richmond Kickers.
Coming off Chevrolet Man of the Match honors in the last U.S. game, a 2-0 win over Wales, Eddie Lewis provided both assists to lead the U.S. to victory. Midfielder Chris Klein scored his team-leading third goal of the year in the 20th minute after dribbling around the keeper and cutting a shot at a difficult angle into an open net. The visitors equalized minutes later in the 23rd on a goal from New Zealand leading scorer Vaughan Coveny. Forward Jovan Kirovski scored the game winner in the 65th minute, marking his second goal in his last three appearances, to earn Chevrolet Man of the Match honors.
U.S. goalkeeper Joe Cannon and defender Cory Gibbs came on as second-half substitutes to earn their first caps, while starting goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann made his first appearance for the MNT since 1994.
U.S. enjoyed control of the possession for most of the first half, creating several early opportunities. The best came in the ninth minute with a flurry of three shots, all saved by New Zealand’s Michael Utting. The U.S chance began with Klein putting Taylor Twellman through with a ball to the right side of the box. Twellman launched a hard shot at the far post, with Utting cutting down the angle with a kick save. Kirovski heads the ball on goal, but it is deflected back to his feet by a defender. His low shot from point-blank is saved, but the rebound rolls to Earnie Stewart whose low, skipping shot is again put back by Utting.
In the 20th minute, Chris Armas won a 50-50 challenge in the midfield that squirted to Lewis. Lewis’ pass found Klein racing behind the New Zealand defense. Klein pushed the ball past Utting toward the end line, and slotted a deep angle shot across the goal line and past two sliding New Zealand defenders. This was his third career goal with the U.S., all coming in 2003.
Just three minutes later, New Zealand equalized to snap the U.S.’s 331-minute shutout streak. Coveny took a pass from Ivan Vicelich at the top of the 18, and moves the ball to the right side of the box with U.S. defender Steve Cherundolo marking him tightly. Moving to his right, he held off the defender and rifled a 12-yard shot that left Hahnemann with no chance to make the save.
The U.S. continued with more chances in the half. In the 30th minute, Armas tries a centering pass to Kirovski that forced New Zealand’s Duncan Oughton to clear the ball out over his own goal. Just one minute later, a corner kick by defender Greg Vanney bounced around the box before U.S. captain Earnie Stewart left it for Gregg Berhalter at the top of the box for a shot that whistled just wide of right post.
The second half marked the debuts for Cannon (46th minute) and Gibbs (63rd minute) and more chances for the U.S. Kirovski often drifted wide right early in the half, and it paid off in the 65th minute after Lewis sent the ball wide to the forward. Kirovski attempted to send a cross far post, but it deflected of a New Zealand defender’s shoulder and sailed over Utting’s head into the far side netting.
The goal returns the momentum to the U.S., who continued to hold the ball and did not allow New Zealand a second-half shot until the 90th minute. Lewis, Twellman and Kirovski as well as second-half subs in the midfield Bobby Convey and Kyle Martino continued to spark the U.S. The U.S. had two scoring chances in the 79th minute. The first was Kirovski finding Lewis for a header in the six-yard box that was saved, and the second was Lewis serving Kirovski from the left side for a diving header that missed just to the right of the goal.
The game marked the introduction and one-time wearing of Nike retro jerseys that were styled after the jersey worn when the U.S. beat England 1-0 in a landmark upset at the 1950 World Cup in Brazil. The one-of-a-kind jerseys are now available at ussoccerstore.com.
From June 18-29, the U.S. joins the champions of the six regional confederations around the world and two guest teams in the FIFA Confederations Cup in France. The U.S. will face World Cup champions Brazil, third-place finisher Turkey, and African champion Cameroon in the opening round of the tournament.
The U.S. qualified for the event by capturing the 2002 CONCACAF Gold Cup, a title which they will defend from July 12-23 in Boston, Miami and Mexico City. Playing at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, the Americans will face El Salvador and Martinique in Group B action.
U.S. Men’s National Team Game Report
Match-up: USA vs. New Zealand
Date: June 8, 2003
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: University of Richmond Stadium – Richmond, Virginia
Kickoff: 1 p.m. (ET)
Weather: 76 degrees; overcast
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 1 1 2
New Zealand 1 0 1
USA – Chris Klein (Eddie Lewis) 20th minute.
NZL – Vaughan Coveny (Ivan Vicevich) 23.
USA – Jovan Kirovski (Eddie Lewis) 65.
USA: 19-Marcus Hahnemann (1-Joe Cannon, 46); 5-Greg Vanney, 12-Carlos Bocanegra (24-Cory Gibbs, 63), 3-Gregg Berhalter, 6-Steve Cherundolo; 14-Chris Armas, 7-Eddie Lewis, 22-Chris Klein (15-Bobby Convey, 76), 8-Earnie Stewart (capt.; 13-Kyle Martino, 67); 20-Taylor Twellman (17-DaMarcus Beasley, 88), 9-Jovan Kirovski.
Subs not used: 10-Claudio Reyna
NZL: 19-Michael Utting; 2-Duncan Oughton, 4-Chris Zoricich (Capt.), 7-Ivan Vicelich, 14-Ryan Nelsen (5-Danny Hay, 75); 12-Simon Elliott (17-Raf de Gregorio, 85), 20-Gerard Davis (3-David Mulligan, 80), 21-Noah Hickey, 9-Mark Burton; 11-Chris Killen (15-Shane Smeltz, 75), 16-Vaughan Coveny.
Subs not used: 1-Jason Batty, 6-Gavin Wilkinson, 13-Chris Bouckenooghe, 22-Michael Wilson, 23-Mark Patson.
Stats Summary: USA NZL
Shots 18 6
Saves 2 6
Corner Kicks 4 1
Fouls 12 23
Offside 4 2
NZL – Simon Elliott (caution) 35th minute.
USA – Jovan Kirovski (caution) 37.
USA – Taylor Twellman (caution) 47.
USA – Eddie Lewis (caution) 54.
USA – Steve Cherundolo (caution) 72.
USA – Gregg Berhalter (caution) 91+.
Referee: Mr. Hi Liu (CAN)
Senior Assistant Referee: Mr. Eric Roy (CAN)
Junior Assistant Referee: Mr. Amato DeLuca (CAN)
Fourth Official: Mr. Brian Hall (USA)
Chevrolet Man of the Match: Jovan Kirovski