BACOLET, Tobago (Wednesday, September 19, 2001) - The United States Under-17 Men’s National Team bowed out of the 2001 FIFA Under-17 World Championship with a 2-0 loss to Nigeria at Dwight Yorke Stadium in Bacolet, Tobago on Wednesday night. The U.S. team wore black armbands during the match to honor the men and women who lost their lives in the September 11th attack on the United States.
The U.S. played their best match of the tournament in tonight’s loss and were able to move the ball much more crisply than they did in the first two matches. Much of the credit should go to Craig Capano, who distributed the ball from his central midfield role until leaving with a sore quad just after the half hour mark.
Nigeria, the quickest of the four group B squads, were exploited a few times by the pace and skill of Ed Johnson. But throughout the match, as was the case throughout the tournament, the U.S. attack sputtered as it neared the penalty box. Paul Johnson, who started in place of the banged up Santino Quaranta, was able to find space behind the Nigerian defense on the right wing, but his crosses were to no avail.
Nigeria, who tied for the tournament lead with six goals in the first two matches, finally penetrated the U.S. defense in the 32nd minute when speedster Karimu Shaibu raced behind the U.S. defense and latched onto a Joseph Eyimofe pass. Shaibu carried the ball into the penalty box all alone and slotted the ball just under a sliding Adam Schuerman. Shaibu scored in each of the first three matches for the Super Eaglets.
Schuerman played well to limit the Nigerians to two goals on an evening when Nigeria took 16 shots, and fired many other opportunities well wide or well high. The U.S. goalkeeper made a number of spectacular saves, including a one-on-one save in the 82nd minute when Nigerian striker Omonigho Temile, and was alert coming off his line to snag crosses and through balls as Nigeria pushed players forward the entire match. He made a great diving save on Femi Opabunmi in the 88th minute, with a splendid dive to his right as Opabunmi’s left-footed blast was dialed in on the lower left corner. Schuerman recorded five saves in the match.
Moses Ayuba scored Nigeria’s final goal in the 58th minute, receiving a throw-in deep in the U.S. box, spinning around Chefik Simo and hitting a blast to the upper corner that gave Schuerman no chance.
The U.S. coaches made four changes in the starting line-up from the team that took the field in the first two matches. Chefik Simo, Tyson Wahl and Chris Lancos were inserted into the backline, and Paul Johnson took over on the right wing. All 16 field players saw action for the U.S. in the World Championship. The U.S. will not know their final finish in the tournament until the completion of all first round matches on Thursday, Sept. 20. The U.S. is the only nation to qualify for all nine FIFA Under-17 World Championships (formerly Under-16 World Championships).
In the second Group B match of the evening, France flew past Japan, 5-1, to set up a thrilling quarterfinal between Brazil, 6-1 winners against Trinidad & Tobago tonight, and the French at Dwight Yorke Stadium on September 23 at 5 p.m. ET. Nigeria will face Australia, who topped Croatia 4-0 tonight, in the second quarterfinal in Tobago on Sept. 23.
2001 U.S. UNDER-17 MEN'S NATIONAL TEAM GAME REPORT
|Participants:||U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team vs. Nigeria|
|Competition:||2001 FIFA Under-17 World Championship (Group B)|
|Venue:||Dwight Yorke Stadium (Bacolet, Tobago)|
|Date:||Wednesday, September 19, 2001 - Kickoff: 5:00 p.m. ET|
|Weather:||82 degrees (Overcast, Humid)|
NGA - Karimu Shaibu (Joseph Eyimofe), 32.
NGA - Moses Ayuba, 58.
USA - 18-Adam Schuerman; 3-Chefik Simo, 12-Gray Griffin (capt.), 5-Tyson Wahl, 6-Chris Lancos; 3-Justin Mapp (9-Santino Quaranta, 60), 15-Jordan Stone, 16-Craig Capano (13-David Johnson, 31), 4-Paul Johnson (17-Erwin Diaz, 67); 7-Mike Magee, 10-Ed Johnson.
NGA - 18-Akpan Bassey; 2-Kennedy Chinwo, 3-Ndala Ibrahim, 4-Emmanuel Baba, 5-Joseph Eyimofe; 6-Richard Eromoigbe, 7-Karimu Shaibu (10-Victor Brown, 53), 8-Austine Nnamdi (9-Moses Ayuba, 35), 11-Femi Opabunmi; 16-Omonigho Temile, 17-Suleiman Mohammed (capt.).
Referee: Harry Atisson (VAN)
Assistant Referee #1: Winston Goodridge (BRB)
Assistant Referee #2: Hillary Papah Ani (PNG)
Fourth Official: Michal Benes (CZE)