MARBELLA, Spain (Oct. 16, 2012) – The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team scored twice in the second half to cap off a 3-2 win against the Azerbaijan Under-21 Men’s National Team in the final of three international friendly matches for the U.S. at the 2012 Marbella Cup in Spain.
Forward Daniel Cuevas spotted the U.S. an early 1-0 lead in the ninth minute when he connected on a well-placed cross from Mario Rodriguez on the edge of the six-yard box. The goal was Cuevas’s first of the year for the U-20s, while the assist is Rodriguez’s first of the last three matches to go with a goal in a 2-1 loss against Canada at the start of the Marbella Cup.
Tural Asgandarov headed past goalkeeper Kendall McIntosh in the 20th minute to tie the score at 1-1 for Azerbaijan.
The U.S. grabbed a 3-1 lead within a 10-minute span in the second half as Rodriguez and Cuevas paired up again in the 54th minute. This time it was Cuevas sending in the cross from the left flank into the middle of the box for Rodriguez to tap in for his second goal in the last three matches.
Ten minutes later, Benji Joya received the ball near the left corner of the box and side-stepped a defender to create space before unleashing a hard, curling shot that glanced off the underside of the crossbar and into the net for a two-goal lead in the 64th minute.
Azerbaijan was able to pull a goal back in the 75th minute through Asgandarov again as the forward was able to beat his defender on the left side of the box and slot a low, hard shot to the far post.
The match became increasingly physical as the match wound down, with the sides combining for 31 fouls and U.S. defender Javan Torre receiving a red card in the 90th minute.
The U.S. finished the 2012 Marbella Cup with a 2-1-0 record, scoring six goals while conceding just four. Its only loss was against Canada on Oct. 10.
-U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team Match Report-
Match: U.S. Under-20 MNT v. Azerbaijan U-21 MNT
Date: Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012
Competition: 2012 Marbella Cup
Venue: Marbella Football Center; Marbella, Spain
Kickoff: 5 p.m. (11 a.m. ET)
Weather: 73 degrees
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 1 2 3
AZE 1 1 2
USA – Daniel Cuevas (Mario Rodriguez) 9th minute
AZE – Tural Asgandarov (Mirhuseyn Seyidov) 20
USA – Mario Rodriguez (Daniel Cuevas) 54
USA – Benji Joya 64
AZE – Tural Asgandarov 75
USA: 1-Kendall McIntosh; 2-Eric Miller, 4-Caleb Stanko (capt.), 5-Walker Zimmerman, 3-Javan Torre; 6-Marc Pelosi (15-Daniel Metzger, 55), 8-Mikey Lopez, 7-Benji Joya; 10-Jose Villarreal (4-Will Packwood, 90+1), 9-Mario Rodriguez, 11-Daniel Cuevas
Subs not used: 12-Ethan Horvath, 13-Juan Pablo Ocegueda, 14-Boyd Okwuonu, 17-Jonathan Top
Head Coach: Tab Ramos
AZE: 1-Andrey Popovic; 2-Gara Garayev, 4-Urfan Abbasov (5-Slavik Alkasov, 31), 16-Ruslan Taghizada (23-Nurlan Novruzov, 82), 3-Tarlan Guliyev; 21-Karim Diniyev (8-Haji Ahmadov, 46), 6-Mirhuseyn Seyidov (capt.), 19-Abdulla Abasiyev; 7-Araz Abdullayev, 9-Tural Asgandarov, 11-Rizvan Umarov (10-Rahman Hajiyev, 67)
Subs not used:12-Orkhan Sadigli, 14-Amit Guluzade, 20-Sahriyar Aliyev, 17-Aleksandr Gross, 13-Javid Tagiyev
Head Coach: Bernhard Lippert
Stats Summary: USA / AZE
Shots: 22 / 9
Shots on Goal: 10 / 3
Saves: 7 / 1
Corner Kicks: 7 / 4
Fouls: 17 / 14
Offside: 3 / 0
AZE – Slavik Alkasov (caution) 40th minute
USA – Javan Torre (caution) 77
USA – Javan Torre (sent off) 90
AZE – Gara Garayev (caution) 90+3