KROMERIZ, Czech Republic (Aug. 21, 2014) – The U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team beat the Czech Republic 3-2 to take the top spot in Group A and advance to the 21st International Tournament of Vaclav Jezek final against Ukraine on Saturday, Aug. 23.
After a scoreless first half, the U.S. got its first goal just two minutes after halftime. Sebastian Saucedo finished a Collin Fernandez assist in the 47th minute to give the U.S. a 1-0 lead.
The tandem teamed up again but switched roles for a second goal just four minutes later. Fernandez doubled the U.S. lead to 2-0 in the 51st minute with Saucedo picking up the assist.
A U.S. handball in the box breathed life into the Czech Republic attack, as Denis Lanka converted the penalty kick to cut the deficit to one goal in the 72nd minute. Haji Wright restored the two-goal advantage for the U.S. in the 78th minute, a goal that would prove to be a game-winner.
The Czech Republic put pressure on the U.S. back line and scored in the second minute of second-half stoppage time but failed to net an equalizer before the final whistle, leaving the result at 3-2 in favor of the U.S.
The U-18s finish group play with a 2-0-0 record and six points. The U.S. opened the tournament with a 3-1 win against Hungary on Aug. 20.
Along with Saturday’s final, the tournament’s two second-place teams from group play square off in the third-place match and the groups’ third-place teams will play in the fifth-place match. All three games will take place on Aug. 23.
-U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team Match Report-
Match: United States U-18 Men’s National Team vs. Czech Republic
Date: Aug. 21, 2014
Competition: 21st International Youth Tournament of Václav Ježek
Venue: Zlin; Kromeriz, Czech Republic
Kickoff: 5 p.m. CEST
Weather: 70 degrees
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 3 3
CZE 0 2 2
USA - Sebastian Saucedo (Collin Fernandez) 47th minute
USA - Collin Fernandez (Sebastian Saucedo) 51
HUN - Denis Lanka 72
USA - Haji Wright 78
HUN - Ondrej Mihalik 90+2
USA: 22-JT Marcinkowski; 4-Justen Glad, 15-Mauricio Pineda, 5-Cameron Carter-Vickers, 16-Malcolm Jones, 17-Sean Wilson, 11-Sebastian Saucedo (18-Sebastian Elney, 75), 8-Cameron Lindley (6-Ben Swanson, 62), 14-Collin Fernandez (10-Mukwelle Akale, 73), 9-Coy Craft (capt.), 19-Haji Wright
Subs Not Used: 1-Jonathan Klinsmann, 2-Kyle Duncan, 3-Pablo Pelaez, 7-Jorge Ruiz, 13-Victor Mansaray, 20-Jackson Yueill
Head Coach: Javier Perez
CZE: 16-Frantisek Chmiel; 2-Jan Zarsky (20-David Brezina, 8), 18-Vojtech Brak, 6-Josef Kvida, 13-Vojtech Cmelik, 12-Lukas Krivanek, 4-Daniel Bocek, 8-Michal Bilek, 14-Krystof Kadlec (11-Denis Lanka, 46), 10-Matej Pulkrab (17-Ondrej Mihalik, 63), 19-Tomas Ladra
Subs Not Used: 1-David Zalesky, 3-David Lischka, 5-David Stepanek, 7-Tomas Weisner, 9-Jan Kuctha, 15-Petr Prucha
Head Coach: Istvan Mihalecz
Stats Summary: USA / CZE
Shots: 9 / 5
Shots on Goal: 3 / 3
Saves: 1 / 0
Corner Kicks: 3 / 4
Fouls: 11 / 16
Offside: 3 / 2
CZE - Denis Lanka (caution) 53th minute
CZE - Michal Bilek (caution) 66
CZE - Daniel Bocek (caution) 88
USA - Mukwelle Akale (caution) 90
Referee: Pavel Julinek
Assistant Referee: Zdenek Kneisl
Assistant Referee: Leos Kneisl
Fourth Official: N/A