LAKEWOOD RANCH, Florida (Dec. 2, 2014) – The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team fell to Brazil 4-1 in the final game of the 2014 Nike International Friendlies in front of packed house at the Premier Sports Campus.
Brazil (2-0-1) finished the tournament with seven points, earning the 2014 Nike Friendlies crown and was followed by the USA (2-1-0; 6 points), England (1-1-1; 4 points) and Australia (0-0-3; 0 points).
Forward Andrey and midfielder Evander each scored a brace for Brazil in the win. Evander also added an assist. Christian Pulisic had the USA’s lone goal off of a Haji Wright assist. Pulisic was the USA’s leading scorer in the tournament with three goals.
In addition to claiming the 2014 Nike International Friendlies title, Brazil swept the individual awards. Evander (Golden Boot), Matheus Pereira (MVP) and Bruno (Golden Glove) were all recognized for their performances throughout the three-day tournament.
A fast-paced offensive attack dictated much of the game, and from the start Brazil made sure to set the tone often. The verde amarela exploded out of the locker room with powerful shots from distance and pressured the U.S. defense.
Within the first four minutes of the game, forward Andrey and midfielders Matheus Pereira and Evander had all taken a shot toward U.S. goalkeeper Kevin Silva, but every attempt went awry as it was either wide, high or saved, thus keeping the USA very much in the game.
In the 10th minute, forward Leandro found himself running toward the goal with only U.S. defender Daniel Barbir by his side. He was able to outrun Barbir with a nice move to the right side but his attempt toward the near post ended up hitting the post instead and went out of bounds.
One of the USA’s strongest chances early in the first half came on the 11th minute when Pulisic outplayed three defenders on the left band and proceeded to send a pass to the middle for midfielder Luca de la Torre. De la Torre took the shot but sent it wide and was unable to make it happen for the USA.
Evander continued to push the USA backwards into its own side of the field as he ran through players and resumed shooting the ball. Finally, a nifty left-legged pass from Lincoln who came to the front after receiving the ball on the midfield found Evander who then took the ball into the box trough the right side and sent it to the far post for the 1-0 Brazilian lead. The goal was the third of the tournament for Evander, who was responsible for nine of Brazil’s 26 shots in the match.
Wasting no time and regrouping fast, the USA started to shift its attention from defense and was able to put together a couple of plays that culminated in a play that tied the score to one apiece.
Haji Wright drove through a few Brazilian defenders on the left band and with some creative footwork was able to get past them and send a perfect ball to the middle where Pulisic awaited to kick it in. Brazil’s goalkeeper Bruno had left his spot, which allowed Pulisic to send the ball right to the middle cleanly and even up the scoreboard.
With both teams on the board, the pace appeared more uniform as each played some strong defense and drove forward. Despite the 1-1 score at the 29th minute, however, the shot differential was visible, as Brazil has outshot the USA 12-3 up to that point.
Brazil’s attack never slowed down, but in the 37th minute the USA tried to take advantage of a sleepy defense and midfielder Alejandro Zendejas knocked a strong shot toward the goal. However, he was not able to curl it on time and it went just wide.
A foul called on Zendejas on the 41st minute set up a Brazil free kick, which led to the second score of the game. The U.S. set up a four-man wall on the left side right outside the box and had two Brazilian men right behind them, looking to clear the ball in case it went their way. Nonetheless, Evander’s free kick sailed over both barriers and straight toward the far post where it found the back of the net with an incredible shot to put Brazil up 2-1 with his second score of the match.
Coming out of the locker rooms for the second half, the teams turned down the fast pace a notch and calmly seemed to control the ball until about the 60th minute. Yet on the 62nd minute, Evander again created problems for the U.S. defense and this time sent a ball to Andrey on the right side. Andrey took the shot and was able to score on a deflection off of U.S. defender Tyler Adams’ leg to give Brazil the 3-1 lead.
The U.S. quickly responded on the 63rd minute and a near perfect header by Wright down the middle went just wide, as the USA continue to trail Brazil by two goals. Despite a resilient fight, there was not much the USA could do to stop the Brazilian attack.
In the 70th minute, Andrey took a ball from 35 yards out into about 18 yards and sent a textbook shot onto the left corner of the goal. The goal was his second of the night and fourth for Brazil to give them the 4-1 victory.
Next, the U.S. U-17 MNT will shift its focus toward preparation for the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship taking place from Feb. 27-March 14 in Honduras as the team hopes to qualify for the 2015 FIFA Under-17 World Cup in Chile.
- Nike Internationals Friendlies Match Report -
Match: U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team vs. Brazil U-17 Men’s National Team
Date: Dec. 2, 2014
Competition: 2014 Nike International Friendlies
Venue: Premier Sports Campus; Lakewood Ranch, Florida
Kickoff: 6 p.m. ET
Weather: 68 degrees, partly cloudy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 1 0 1
BRA 2 2 4
BRA – Evander (Lincoln) 14th minute
USA – Christian Pulisic (Haji Wright) 22
BRA – Evander 42
BRA – Andrey (Evander) 62
BRA – Andrey 70
USA: 1-Kevin Silva; 19-Tyler Adams, 4-Alexis Velela (15-Tanner Dieterich, 81), 14-Daniel Barbir, 3-John Nelson; 6-Eric Calvillo (capt.) (17-McKinze Gaines, 64), 8-Luca de la Torre, 10-Christian Pulisic, 11-Josh Perez (2-Matthew Olosunde, 52); 7-Haji Wright (18-Pierre Da Silva, 81), 9-Alejandro Zendejas
Subs Not Used: 5-Hugo Arellano, 12-William Pulisic, 13-Logan Panchot, 16-Thomas McCabe, 20-Keegan Kelly
Head coach: Richie Williams
BRA: 1-Bruno (capt.) (12-Carlinhos, 90); 2-Kleber, 14-Thiago, 4-Leo, 6-Caique (13-Alan, 84); 7-Andrey (18-Jean, 90), 15-Renan, 17-Lincoln, 8-Matheus Pereira (5-Matheus Fernandes, 85), 19-Evander, 10-Leandro (11-Ramon, 60)
Subs Not Used: 3-Ronaldo, 9-Eronildo, 16-Mauro Junior, 20-Loran
Head coach: Caio Zanardi
Stats Summary: USA / BRA
Shots: 9 / 26
Shots on Goal: 1 / 6
Saves: 2 / 0
Corner Kicks: 2 / 5
Fouls: 7 / 14
Offside: 0 / 0
Referee: Caleb Mendez (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Kathryn Nesbitt (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: TJ Zablocki (USA)
Fourth Official: Chipalo Street (USA)