After weathering an early surge by the Guatemalans, the U.S. found their rhythm and took charge of the match. The Americans were particularly dominant in the air, with Ante Razov, Ben Olsen and Brian McBride all having first-half headers saved well by Guatemalan 'keeper Edgar Estrada, who kept the Central Americans in the match early on.
The United States finally broke through in the 22nd minute with a goal from Moore, his first of the year and 18th in international competition. Richie Williams started the play with a steal in the midfield. Williams swung a pass to Ben Olsen on the right side, who took two touches before sending a long diagonal cross into the penalty area. McBride won the aerial battle and knocked the ball in front of the net, where Moore jammed the ball into the left corner.
As the U.S. continued its pressure, the chances on goal continued as well. McBride doubled the lead on 37 minutes with a picture-perfect header from a tight angle. Razov supplied the cross from the right side, and McBride's sharp header found the far side net.
After the halftime break, Guatemala pulled the visitors within a goal in the 51st minute after the referee ruled that Eddie Lewis had clipped the legs of Guatemala's Guillermo Ortega in the penalty area. Midfielder Jorge Perez stepped up and drilled his shot past goalkeeper Zach Thornton.
In injury time, the U.S. put the game away with a goal by Frankie Hejduk, his third in international competition. The score was a fitting reward for midfielder Eddie Lewis, who tormented Guatemala with his play on the left flank throughout the match. Lewis' bending cross four minutes into added time was met at the penalty spot by Hejduk's powerful header, which closed out the scoring.
The win was not without a price however as Joe-Max Moore was ejected after a tussle with Guatemalan Erick Miranda late in the match. Miranda was also sent off and both players will be suspended for Saturday's matches.
The win is the third in a row for the U.S., who are now 3-0-1 in 1999. Under Arena, the U.S. has only allowed two goals in five games.
Nike U.S. Cup '99 will be decided at San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium on Saturday (March 13) as the USA will face regional foe Mexico at 12:30 p.m. (live on ABC) and Bolivia will take on Guatemala at 3 p.m.
Thursday, March 11, 1999 (Los Angeles)
Saturday, March 13, 1999 (San Diego)
* on ABC
|Participants:||United States National Team vs. Guatemala National Team|
|Competition:||Nike U.S. Cup '99|
|Venue:||L.A. Memorial Coliseum (Los Angeles, Calif.)|
|Date:||March 11, 1999 |
Kickoff: 5:30 PM (PT)
|Weather:||65 degrees, cloudy|
USA - Brian McBride, (Ante Razov), 37,
GUA - Jorge Perez, (penalty kick), 51,
USA - Frankie Hejduk, (Eddie Lewis), 94+.
USA - Zach Thornton, Jeff Agoos, Carlos Llamosa, C.J. Brown, Eddie Lewis, Richie Williams, Joe-Max Moore, Ben Olsen (Frankie Hejduk, 63), Jovan Kirovski, Ante Razov (Chris Armas, 60), Brian McBride.
GUA - Edgar Estrada, Julio Giron, German Ruano, Ivan Leon (Catolino Molina, 51) Edgar Valencia, Martin Machon, Jorge Perez, Guillermo Ortega, Erick Miranda, Claudio Rojas, Carlos Ruiz (Julio Rodas, 46).
GUA - Jorge Perez, (caution), 25,
USA - Jeff Agoos, (caution), 56,
GUA - German Ruano, (caution), 68,
GUA - Julio Giron, (caution), 75,
USA - Joe-Max Moore, (ejection), 91+,
GUA - Erick Miranda, (ejection), 91+.
|Referee's Assistants:||Alfonso Alcala||(MEX)|
|Fourth Official:||Antonio Marruffo||(MEX)|