U.S. U-17 Men's National Team Captures Group B of 2011 CONCACAF U-17 Championship with 1-0 Win against Panama
- Andrew Oliver's Second Goal of the Tournament Gives U.S. Six Points from Two Games
- U.S. to Face El Salvador on Tuesday, Feb. 22, in Quarterfinals for a Place in 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup
- Match will be shown live on ESPN Deportes and ESPN3 at 3 p.m. ET
With the win, the U.S. will face El Salvador on Feb. 22 at Catherine Hall Stadium in Montego Bay in the quarterfinals. The winner of that match qualifies for the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Mexico. The USA’s quarterfinal match will be broadcast live at 3 p.m. ET on ESPN Deportes and ESPN3.com, and fans can follow live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker and Twitter @ussoccer_ynt. El Salvador finished second in Group A following a 3-2 loss to Costa Rica earlier in the day.
“I think we improved today and played well against a very tough team who was obviously playing for the chance to reach the quarterfinal,” said U.S. head coach Wilmer Cabrera. “Panama is very good, and they put a lot of men behind the ball but we were moving the ball, we had patience and we kept the ball most of the time. Little by little we were creating opportunities. Both individually and collectively we improved as a team today which is important.”
Having already booked a place in the quarterfinals before the opening whistle, the U.S. needed at least a draw to secure first place in the group. Cabrera made three changes to the starting lineup from Monday’s win versus Cuba, inserting Joe Amon at right back, Alejandro Guido in the central midfield and Marc Pelosi on the wing. He also gave defender Zach Carroll his first minutes of the tournament when he came on as a sub in the 84th minute.
The young Americans controlled much of the play in the first half, firing five of their seven shots. The combination of Pelosi, Guido, Oliver and Mario Rodriguez gave the Panama defense fits for much of the first half, but were unable to connect for a goal.
One of the USA’s best chances came following a give-and-go between Oliver and Mario Rodriguez that ended with Oliver’s shot right at Panama ‘keeper Ivan Picart. Picart also stifled Pelosi as he came running full speed into the box unopposed in the 36th minute.
In the 41st minute Oliver sent a seemingly harmless cross into the box that was spilled by Panama goalkeeper Ivan Picart, leaving Esteban Rodriguez with an opportunity that he sizzled just past the far post leaving the game scoreless at halftime.
After scoring in the 46th minute in the opener against Cuba, the U.S. again came out of the locker room and scored early in the second half. Oliver won the aerial battle off a free kick delivered by Alejandro Guido, heading home in the 49th minute to give the U.S. the only goal they would need. Kellyn Acosta had been fouled harshly near the touchline, setting up the opportunity. Oliver now has two goals and an assist through two matches, one of three players in the competition to record multiple goals.
With just minutes remaining in the game, Panama nearly equalized. A free kick was played to the top of the box and headed down into the path of Omar Browne. Browne hit a shot that beat U.S. goalkeeper Fernando Pina to the far post, but defender Mobi Fehr slid to save the rolling ball off the line and got enough of an angle for the ball to smack off the inside of the far post. The ball caromed back into the fray before a U.S. defender was able to clear it away.
Panama needed to lose by fewer than two goals to secure a place in the quarterfinals and, down by one goal late in the game, Panama was content to let the U.S. hold onto possession. By virtue of their scoreless draw with Cuba and a 1-0 loss to the U.S., Panama held firm to second place in Group B. They will play Costa Rica on Tuesday with a FIFA U-17 World Cup berth on the line.
The U.S. is looking to continue its streak of being the only nation to have qualified for every edition of the FIFA U-17 World Cup. It participated in the 2009 event for the 13th consecutive time.
-- U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team Game Report --
Match-up: U.S. U-17 MNT vs. Panama
Date: Feb. 18, 2011
Competition: CONCACAF Under-17 Championship
Venue: Jarrett Park Stadium; Montego Bay, Jamaica
Kickoff: 4:30 p.m. ET
Weather: 80 degrees, partly cloudy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 1 1
PAN 0 0 0
USA – Andrew Oliver (Alejandro Guido) 49th minute
USA: 1-Fernando Pina; 12-Joe Amon, 2-Andrew Souders (capt.), 6-Mobi Fehr, 3-Kellyn Acosta; 8-Esteban Rodriguez, 5-Matt Dunn (17-Zach Carroll, 84) 10-Alejandro Guido, 11-Marc Pelosi; 9-Mario Rodriguez (7-Alfred Koroma, 70), 16-Andrew Oliver (19-Jack McBean, 84)
Subs not used: 18-Kendall McIntosh, 4-Nathan Smith, 13-Dillon Serna, 14-Tarik Salkicic
Not available: 25-Jordan Allen, 20-Paul Arriola
Head Coach: Wilmer Cabrera
PAN: 1-Ivan Picart; 2-Eric Francisco, 5-Roberto Chen (capt.), 7-Dario Wright, 10-Darwin Pinzon (9-Omar Browne, 61), 11-Aldair Paredes, 13-Francisco Narbon, 16-Alonzo Goot, 17-Bryan Santamaria (18-Jorman Aguilar, 82), 19-Alfredo Stephens (21-Gilberto Villa, 90+1), 20-Alexander Gonzalez
Subs not used: 12-Joseph Vargas, 3-Jose Maughin, 6-Anel Vargas, 15-Romario Piggot,
Not available: 4-Roberto Pinto, 8-Salvatore Messina
Head Coach: Jorge Dely Valdes
Stats Summary: USA / PAN
Shots 7 / 6
Shots on Goal 3 / 4
Saves 4 / 3
Fouls 19 / 10
Corner Kicks 4 / 2
Offside 3 / 1
USA – Alejandro Guido (caution) 53rd minute
USA – Mario Rodriguez (caution) 63
USA – Marc Pelosi (caution) 71
Referee: Enrico Winjgaarde (SUR)
Assistant Referee 1: Ainsley Rochard (TRI)
Assistant Referee 2: Octavio Jara (CRC)
Fourth Official: Ricardo Arellano (MEX)