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U-17s to Play El Salvador for Final CONCACAF Berth in FIFA U-17 World Championship


MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica (Sunday, February 28, 1999) - The U.S. Men's Under-17 National Team drew 0-0 today against Jamaica to finish second in the 1999 CONCACAF Qualifying Tournament in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

The U-17s will now play El Salvador in May in a home-and-away playoff series for the third and final CONCACAF berth in the 1999 FIFA U-17 World Championship. The USA will play in El Salvador for the first match of the playoff series on May 9. The second match will be played on either May 21, 22 or 23 in the United States at a site yet to be determined.

Landon Donovan, the qualifying tournament leading scorer with three goals, will serve a one-game suspension and miss the first match in El Salvador after receiving a red card in the 89th minute for his challenge on Jamaican goalkeeper Allien Whittaker.

"I thought the team played well today, we were just unlucky in front of the net and their keeper had a tremendous game. We shut them down in the back and they had no real good chances to score," said U.S. Head Coach John Ellinger. "We dominated the match, but today was Jamaica's day. They were in position to play for a tie and did what they needed to do to qualify."

In front of 5,000 festive, soccer-crazed Jamaican fans the USA dominated and shut down a strong Jamaican team. The U.S. defense held Jamaica to just three shots for the entire match while U.S. goalkeeper Delvin Countess was never really challenged.

The U.S. nearly got on the board in the sixth minute when Donovan beat two defenders on the right wing and played a cross to a near-post streaking Jordan Cila (Jericho, NY), who just misdirected the ball wide of the far post.

Jamaica played a defensive game, bunkering down in their own penalty area while trying to counter on the Americans. It wasn't until the 29th minute that Jamaican forward Craig Gordon got their first shot on goal.

In the second half the USA continued their domination, playing the majority of the game in Jamaica's defensive half. In the 70th minute Landon Donovan bent a 25-yard free kick over the Jamaican wall but was denied a goal at the last moment by the out-stretched hands of Jamaican goalkeeper Whitaker.

With time running out, Nelson Akwari had the USA's best chance to score in the 90th minute when he fired a low hard-driven shot from six yards out that was cleared off the line by a Jamaican defender.

The U-17s will return to the Bollettieri Sports Academy in Bradenton, Fla. tomorrow to immediately begin preparations for their playoff series against El Salvador.

CONCACAF U-17 Qualifying * Final Standings
Group A
Montego Bay, Jamaica (Feb. 24-28)
Group B
San Salvador, El Salvador (Feb. 10-14)
Team
GP
W
L
T
GF
GA
PTS
Team
GP
W
L
T
GF
GA
PTS
*Jamaica
3
2
0
1
3
0
7
*Mexico
3
3
0
0
13
2
9
**USA
3
1
0
2
5
2
5
** El Salvador
3
2
1
0
8
4
6
Costa Rica
3
1
1
1
5
5
4
Canada
3
1
2
0
6
6
3
Honduras
3
0
3
0
1
7
0
Trinidad & Tobago
3
0
3
0
3
18
0
February 24
United States 2, Costa Rica 2
Jamaica 1, Honduras 0
February 26
United States 3, Honduras 0
Jamaica 2, Costa Rica 0
February 28
Costa Rica 3, Honduras 1
United States 0, Jamaica 0
February 10
Mexico 4, Canada 1
El Salvador 6, Trinidad & Tobago 1
February 12
Mexico 6, Trinidad & Tobago 2
El Salvador 2, Canada 0
February 14
Canada 6, Trinidad & Tobago 0
Mexico 3, El Salvador 0
* Jamaica and Mexico earn automatic CONCACAF berths in the 1999 FIFA U-17 World Championship.
** USA and El Salvador will play home-and-away playoff series for the third and final CONCACAF berth in the WC.

1999 U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team Game Report

Participants:U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team vs. Jamaica Under-17 Men's National Team
Competition:1999 CONCACAF Qualifying Tournament
Venue:Montego Bay, Jamaica
Date:February 28, 1999
Weather:Sunny - 85 degrees
Attendance:5,000

Scoring Summary:1st2ndFinal
United States
000
Jamaica
000

Lineups:
USA - 1-Delvin Countness, 4-Nelson Akwari, 8-Alexander Yi, 17-Seth Trembly, 14-Oguchi Onyewu, 5-Bryan Jackson (9-Adolfo Gregorio, 63), 20-Kenneth Cutler (Capt.), 15-Kyle Beckerman, DaMarcus Beasley, 16-Jordon Cila (13-Raul Rivera, 84), 20-Landon Donovan.

JAM - 3-Alex Thomas, 5-Shane Stevens, 6-Loren Sailsman, 7-Sean Frazer, 10-Anthony Bennett (15-Dwayne Richards, 45), 11-Eshaya Bryan, 12-Craig Gordon, 13-Allien Whittaker, 16-Kevin King, 18-Keveral Stewart, 19-Keith Kelly (8-Ezra Prendergast, 71).

Statistical Summary:USAJAM
Shots . . . . . . . . . .
93
Saves . . . . . . . . .
25
Corner Kicks . . . .
52
Fouls . . . . . . . . . .
914
Offside . . . . . . . . .
31

Misconduct Summary:
JAM
Thomas (caution)16,
JAM
King (caution) 53,
USA
Donovan (caution)84,
USA
Donovan (ejection)89.

Officials:
Referee:
Ulises Rangel(Mexico)
Assistant Referee:
Francisco Ramirez(Mexico)
Assistant Referee:
Gustavo Aguirre(Nicaragua)
Fourth Official:
Noel Bynoe(Trinidad & Tobago)

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