SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras (March 11, 2015) – The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team will need to go through a playoff match to earn a berth to the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup after Jamaica defeated the USA 1-0 at the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship.
Nicholas Nelson’s 57th-minute penalty kick was the difference maker in a tight match. Jamaica and the USA are level with 3-1-1 records and 10 points, but Jamaica takes the first-place lead based on the head-to-head tiebreaker.
Honduras (2-0-2, 8 points) and Guatemala (1-2-1, 4 points) play later Wednesday night to cap off Group A play. Honduras would move ahead of both Jamaica and the USA if it defeats Guatemala. The Group A and Group B winners of the CONCACAF U-17 Championship earn automatic berths to the FIFA U-17 World Cup.
Two other CONCACAF teams will advance to the World Cup by virtue of playoff wins. The USA will play either at 4 or 7 p.m. ET on Sunday, March 15, based on the seeding of the second- and third-place teams for each group.
Earlier Wednesday, Cuba and Trinidad & Tobago played to a 2-2 draw in Group A action in a matchup of two teams that already had been eliminated from playoff contention. Cuba moved to 0-1-4 (4 points) and Trinidad & Tobago finished 1-4-0 (1 point).
In Group B, the field includes first-place Mexico (3-0-1, 10 points), second-place Canada (3-0-1, 10 points) and third-place Costa Rica (3-1-0, 9 points). All three teams have advanced to at least the playoff stage of the tournament and resume group play Thursday.
Goal Scoring Rundown:
JAM – Nicholas Nelson (penalty), 57th minute: Jamaica’s Donovan Dawkins crossed from the right side and USA center back Hugo Arellano was called for a handball in the box as the ball struck his left arm. Arellano, with his second yellow card in the tournament, is suspended for the USA’s final match. Donovan Dawkins took the subsequent penalty kick, slotting a right-footed, rolling shot toward the right of the frame. USA goalkeeper Will Pulisic had anticipated the shot going the opposite direction. USA 0, JAM 1 (FINAL)
Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
JAM – Jahmali White, 4th minute: Shortly after a Jamaica set piece chance, the USA went on the attack when Christian Pulisic provided an outlet pass to Josh Perez on the right. Perez crossed perfectly with his left foot to lead Alejandro Zendejas. White came off of his line to make a save with his legs.
JAM – Jahmali White, 7th minute: Midfielder Eric Calvillo made a surprising run onto the ball from about 40 yards out and struck it well with a shot headed toward the left of the frame. White did enough to get a glove on the ball as the shot also ricocheted off of the left post.
JAM – Ajeanie Talbott, 25th minute: Christian Pulisic’s through ball opened a strong scoring opportunity for Alejandro Zendejas behind the Jamaica defense. As Zendejas aggressively rushed toward the six-yard box with a shot from the right side, Talbott’s help defense bailed his team out as he deflected it away at the last second.
USA – Will Pulisic, 33rd minute: Shortly after Jamaica goalkeeper Jahmali White’s long boot toward the right side, Deshane Beckford ripped a shot from the far right of the box toward the far left post. Pulisic stretched to his right for a big save in the game’s best scoring chance to that point.
JAM – Jahmali White, 42nd minute: The goalkeeping continued to be the focal point in the first half when Jamaica’s defense made an errant outlet pass. USA forward Josh Perez stepped up well for the interception and dribbled up the right side. He cut the corner to the end line, where he dished to Alejandro Zendejas. Zendejas shot left-footed, aiming for the left of the frame, and White parried the ball enough to send the shot wide left for a U.S. corner kick.
JAM – Ajeanie Talbott, 52nd minute: For the second time in the match, Talbott’s recovery defense proved vital. The USA’s Haji Wright started an attack, dishing to Christian Pulisic in the middle who then led Alejandro Zendejas with a well-placed pass straight up the field. Zendejas headed in toward the left of the box and Talbott slid in to tackle the ball away for a USA throw-in.
Next on the Schedule:
The U-17 MNT will prepare for a playoff match at either 4 or 7 p.m. ET on Sunday, March 15, at Estadio Francisco Morazán in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.
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- The U-17 MNT is 6-2-1 in international play this year.
- The USA moved to 3-2-1 all-time against Jamaica in this tournament’s history.
- Head coach Richie Williams’ starting lineup included a 4-3-3 formation, anchored by goalkeeper Will Pulisic and a defensive line of Matthew Olosunde at right back, Tyler Adams at left back and center backs Hugo Arellano and Alexis Velela. Pulisic and Olosunde have started in every qualifying match, while Arellano earned his fourth tournament start and Adams his second. Arellano wore the captain’s armband.
- The midfield trio featured Luca de la Torre, Eric Calvillo and the return of Christian Pulisic in an attacking role. Pulisic was injured during the USA’s win against Guatemala on March 5 and was an available bench option against Honduras but did not see the pitch.
- Up front, Alejandro Zendejas played in the middle, Haji Wright on the left and Josh Perez on the right. All three players earned their fourth starts in five qualifying games.
- In a three-minute span, the USA made its first two subs midway through the second half, both focused on the attack when the team was down a goal. In the 69th minute, the USA made its first sub as Joe Gallardo replaced Wright. Then in the 72nd minute, McKinze Gaines entered for Perez.
- The U.S. made its final sub in the 76th minute with Brandon Vazquez joining the attack to replace Velela.
- Arellano, who was called for the handball in the box that led to Jamaica’s lone goal, picked up his second yellow card in the tournament and is suspended for Sunday’s playoff match.
- The USA was shut out for the second time this year and the first time at the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship. The only other occasion was a 2-0 loss to Panama on Feb. 4 at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.
-U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team Match Report-
Match: U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team vs. Jamaica U-17 Men’s National Team
Date: March 11, 2015
Competition: 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship; Group A
Venue: Estadio Francisco Morazan
Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET (5 p.m. Local)
Weather: 84 degrees, clear
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 0 0
JAM 0 1 1
JAM – Nicholas Nelson (Penalty kick) 57th minute
USA: 1-Will Pulisic, 2-Matthew Olosunde , 4-Alexis Velela (19-Brandon Vazquez, 76), 5-Hugo Arellano (capt.), 18-Tyler Adams; 6-Eric Calvillo, 10-Christian Pulisic, 8-Luca de la Torre; (13-McKinze Gaines, 72), 20-Alejandro Zendejas, 11-Josh Perez 7-Haji Wright (9-Joe Gallardo, 69)
Substitutions Not Used: 12-Kevin Silva, 3-John Nelson, 14-Tanner Dieterich, 15- Danny Barbir, 16-Tommy McCabe, 17-Pierre Da Silva
Head coach: Richie Williams
JAM: 13-Jahmali Waite, 2-Javian Brown, 5-Jahwani Hinds (capt.), 17-Ajeanie Talbott , 6-Fabian Grant, 11-Zaire Bartley, 15-Deshane Beckford (19-Nathaniel Adamolekun, 46), 16-Jahlanie Hammond (14-Hakim Williams, 76), 9-Nicholas Nelson, 8-Tajea Brown (4-Shandel Senior, 83), 3-Donovan Dawkins
Substitutions Not Used: 1-Akeem Chambers, 7-Peter Vassell, 10-Alex Marshall, 12-Antoniel Mullings, 18-Chris-Andrew Dixon, 20-Demar James
Head coach: Andrew Edwards
Stats Summary: USA / JAM
Shots: 13 / 10
Shots on Goal: 3 / 3
Saves: 2 / 3
Corner Kicks: 7 / 4
Fouls: 7 / 14
Offside: 3 / 0
JAM – Fabian Grant (caution) 44th minute
USA – Hugo Arellano (caution) 56th
JAM – Nicholas Nelson (caution) 86th
Referee: Ricardo Montero (CRC)
Assistant Referee 1: Juan Mora (CRC)
Assistant Referee 2: Miguel Paredes (MEX)
Fourth Official: Cesar Ramos (MEX)
ussoccer.com Man of the Match: TBA