U.S. Soccer

USA Takes Control of Group A at 2017 U-17 World Cup with 1-0 Win vs. Ghana

NEW DELHI, India (Oct. 9, 2017) – The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team put together an excellent showing to take control of Group A at the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup thanks to Ayo Akinola’s 75th minute strike that earned the USA a hard fought 1-0 win against Ghana.

A scoreless first half did not lack for quality or action between the two sides. The U.S. seized the upper hand after the opening 10 minutes, carving out a host of opportunities that had the Ghana defense scrambling or forced goalkeeper Ibrahim Danlad into action. His counterpart at the other end, Justin Garces, also had to be on his toes in the later stages of the opening 45 minutes as Ghana was able to fight back into the game, but the U.S. ‘keeper and defense did well to limit the Black Sarlets to mostly speculative, long-range efforts.

The U.S. had done well in the first half to maintain the majority of possession and ultimately was able to do so again in the second despite a strong opening to the second stanza by Ghana. With the 90-plus degree weather beginning to take a toll, the U.S. defense bent but did not break as Ghana’s wingers began to get around the outside.

However, a smartly executed high press from the U.S. turned the game in its favor midway through the half as Chris Durkin came up with the ball deep in Ghana territory and initiated the passing sequence that ended with the ball on Akinola’s foot. The second half sub did the rest, beat multiple defenders and the goalkeeper with a deft finish to give the USA the 1-0 lead against the run of play.

Ten minutes later a clash of heads between U.S. captain Josh Sargent and Black Starlets Abdul Yusif reduced Ghana to 10 men as both sides had already used all three subs and Yusif could not re-enter the match due to injury.

With the man advantage, the U.S. put its foot on the ball, maintained possession and saw out six minutes of injury time to claim an impressive three points and go top of the Group A standings.

Up Next: The U-17 MNT next travels to Navi Mumbai for its Group A finale vs. Colombia. Kickoff from Dr. DY Patil Stadium is set for 10:30 a.m. ET, and the match can be seen live on FS2 and UNIVERSO.

Social: Twitter (@ussoccer_ynt; @ussoccer_esp); Facebook; Instagram

2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup - Group A

Team

GP

W

L

D

Pts.

GF

GA

GD

USA

2

2

0

0

6

4

0

4

Ghana

2

1

1

0

3

1

1

0

Colombia

1

0

1

0

0

0

1

-1

India

1

0

1

0

0

0

3

-3

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Ayo Akinola (Chris Goslin), 75th minute: The U.S. employed a high pressure trap to win a turnover in Ghana’s defensive third. Chris Durkin came up with the ball on the left wing and picked out Goslin stationed just above the center of the box. He kept the ball moving over to Akinola on the right side of the box and the speedy substitute beat his defender before fending off another and lifting his shot over the onrushing Danlad for the game-winning goal. USA 1, GHA 0 FINAL

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U-17 MNT Oct 9, 2017

-U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team Match Report-

Match: U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team vs. Ghana
Date: Oct. 9, 2017
Competition: FIFA U-17 World Cup – Group A
Venue: Jawaharal Nehru Stadium; New Dehli, India
Kickoff: 7:30 a.m. ET (5 p.m. local)
Attendance: 17,500
Weather: 91, mostly sunny

Scoring Summary:      1          2          F
USA                             0          1          1
GHA                            0          0          0

USA – Ayo Akinola (Chris Goslin)       75th minute

Lineups:
USA: 1-Justin Garces; 2-Jaylin Lindsey, 3-Chris Gloster, 4-James Sands, 13-Sergino Dest (14-Akil Watts, 63); 8-Blaine Ferri, 6-Chris Durkin, 20-Chris Goslin; 10-Tim Weah (7-Ayo Akinola, 63), 9-Josh Sargent (Capt.), 11-Andrew Carleton (18-Indiana Vassilev, 81)
Subs not used: 5-Tyler Shaver, 12-CJ Dos Santos, 15-George Acosta, 16-Taylor Booth, 17-Bryan Reynolds, 19-Jacobo Reyes, 21-Alex Budnik
Head Coach: John Hackworth

GHA: 1-Danlad Ibrahim; 5-Najeeb Yakubu, 6-Eric Ayiah (Capt.), 8-Kudus Mohammed (9-Richard Danso, 73), 10-Emmanuel Toku (7-Ibrahim Sulley, 82); 11-Aminu Mohammed (13-Gabriel Leveh, 57), 12-Abdul Yusif (Exited in 85th, was not replaced), 15-Gideon Mensah, 17-Rashid Alhassan; 19-Sadiq Ibrahim, 20-Isaac Gyamfi
Subs not used: 2-John Out, 3-Gideon Acquah, 4-Edmund Arko-Mensah, 14-Bismark Owusu, 16-Kwame Aziz, 18-Mohammed Iddriss, 21-Michael Acquaye
Head coach: Fabian Samuel 

Stats Summary: USA/GHA
Shots: 11/ 18
Shots on Goal: 2/3
Saves: 3/1
Corner Kicks: 2/5
Fouls: 10/9
Offside: 0/1

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Chris Goslin (Caution)              6th minute
GHA – Kudus Mohammed (Caution) 69
GHA – Richard Danso (Caution)         86

Officials:
Referee: Anastasios Sidiropoulos (GRE)
Assistant Referee 1: Polichronis Kostaras (GRE)
Assistant Referee 2: Lazaros DiMitriadis (GRE)
Fourth Official: Esther Staubli (SUI)

ussoccer.com Man of the Match: Ayo Akinola

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GALLERY: U-17 MNT Defeats Ghana to Take Group A Lead

The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team put together an excellent showing to take control of Group A at the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup thanks to Ayo Akinola’s 75th minute strike that earned the USA a hard fought 1-0 win against Ghana. Read more
U-17 MNT Oct 9, 2017

USA Takes Control of Group A at 2017 U-17 World Cup with 1-0 Win vs. Ghana

NEW DELHI, India (Oct. 9, 2017) – The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team put together an excellent showing to take control of Group A at the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup thanks to Ayo Akinola’s 75th minute strike that earned the USA a hard fought 1-0 win against Ghana. A scoreless first half did not lack for quality or action between the two sides. The U.S. seized the upper hand aft Read more
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The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team is set to square off against Ghana on Monday, Oct. 9 in its second game of Group A play at the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup in India. The match kicks off at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi at 7:30 a.m. ET and will be broadcast on FS2 and UNIVERSO. Fans can also follow along on Twitter @ussoccer_ynt. The U.S. kicked off the tournament with a convincing Read more
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Five Things to Know About the U-17 World Cup

For the first time ever, a FIFA competition will be played in the Indian subcontinent when the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup kicks off on Friday, Oct. 6. Here are five things you should know about the 17th edition of FIFA’s youngest world championship.

What is the U-17 World Cup? 

In the vein of the FIFA World Cup, the U-17 World Cup is the world championship and most important competition for players age 17 and under. The peak of the U-17 age group’s two-year cycle, 24 nations will compete in this year’s 17th biennial tournament.

The teams come from every continental confederation: four each from Asia, Africa, North America and South America, two from Oceania and five from Europe. The final team is India, the host nation, competing in its first FIFA World Cup in any age group. Teams are drawn into six groups of four with the USA in Group A with India, Colombia and Ghana. 

MORE: USA Draws India, Ghana and Colombia in Group A of 2017 U-17 World Cup

The top two teams from each group and the four best third-place teams by points gained advance to the knock-out round of 16. The USA will face India in the host’s opening match on Oct. 6 in New Dehli at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium (10:30 a.m. ET; FS2, Universo). The red, white and blue then play Ghana at the same venue on Oct. 9 (7:30 a.m. ET; FS2, Universo) and close out pool play on Oct. 12 against Colombia at Navi Mumbai’s Dr. DY Patil Stadium (10:30 a.m. ET; FS2, Universo).

A Look Back at the 17 U-17 World Cups

The U-17 World Cup began as the FIFA U-16 World Championship before becoming the FIFA U-17 World Championship in 1991. The competition was renamed the U-17 World Cup in 2007. It’s the second youth world championship established by FIFA.  

Some of soccer’s biggest stars have gotten their start on the international stage at the U-17 World Cup. Players like Neymar, Ronaldinho, Andres Iniesta, Toni Kroos, Gianlugi Buffon and more have all turned heads at this tournament. The U-17 squads are laden with players from the world’s biggest clubs like FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, Chelsea and more.

Nigeria has been the competition’s most successful squad, taking home the title five times, including the last two tournaments in 2013 and 2015. However, the Golden Eaglets have failed to qualify for the 2017 edition.

This year’s competition marks the 16th U-17 World Cup for the USA, tied with Brazil for the most appearances all-time. Several U.S. Men’s National Team stars saw their first international action in the U-17 World Cup. Players like Christian Pulisic (2015), Jozy Altidore (2005), Tim Howard (1995) all played in the U-17 World Cup and are currently in camp with the MNT as they aim to punch the USA’s ticket to its eighth-straight senior World Cup.

The 1999 team, headlined by Landon Donovan, DaMarcus Beasley and Kyle Beckerman, earned the team’s best-ever finish with a fourth-place showing.

More: Five Things to Know About the USA's History at the U-17 World Cup

India Carries Favor with the Soccer World

 

India has never qualified for a FIFA tournament but it’s the sixth Asian nation to host the U-17 World Cup, joining China, Japan, Korea Republic and the United Arab Emirates. The world’s second most populous country has very little international soccer history to speak of. The team has appeared in four Olympic Games and its highest-profile hardware is a set of seven South Asian Football Federation Championship titles, competing against the likes of Maldives, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

The country is abuzz as the tournament nears closer to kick-off. Several matches are already sold out, including the host’s opener against the USA. Tickets to the Final sold out in hours.

India’s U-17 squad has played over 80 matches in 18 different countries over the last two years to prepare for the tournament. One of those matches came against the USA, a 4-0 red, white and blue victory at the 2016 AIFF Youth Cup in Goa, India.

MORE: U-17 MNT Blanks India 4-0 in 2016 AIFF Youth Cup

Kheleo the Clouded Leopard will welcome fans to India as the tournament’s official mascot. Clouded leopards are a vulnerable wild cat, and they reside all the way from mainland Southeast Asia to the outskirts of the Himalayas. 

The soccer-loving Kheleo will surely be seen dancing to “Kar Ke Dikhla De Goal,” the official song of the World Cup. It features several Indian artists as well as Indian soccer star Bhaichung Bhutia.

International Soccer Isn’t Just for Grown-Ups

The U-17 World Cup is the first major international competition for top youth players worldwide. For this tournament, all players must be born between January 1, 2000 and December 31, 2002. Youth National Team cycles last for two years and after this tournament, the 2000 age group will begin preparation towards the 2019 U-20 World Cup, which India has already declared interest in hosting.

Each continental confederation has its own qualification tournament for the U-17 World Cup. The USA secured its spot as the second-place team at last spring’s CONCACAF U-17 Championship, falling to Mexico in the Final on penalty kicks.

For the first time this year, Oceania received two qualifying spots; New Zealand and New Caledonia will represent the region. Niger joins India and New Caledonia in making their U-17 World Cup debuts. 

What to Watch For

While the tournament field is headlined by traditional world soccer powers like Brazil, Spain and Germany, other nations have found success at the U-17 level. African countries have won the most titles as Nigeria and Ghana have combined for seven championships.

England will look to continue a year of youth championship successes in India. The Three Lions won the U-20 World Cup in June and the UEFA U-19 Championship in July while making the semi-finals at June’s UEFA U-21 Championship. The U-17 team that will take the field in India took home second place at the UEFA U-17 Championship, falling in penalty kicks to Spain in the Final. 

The USA brings one of its most-promising squads ever to the U-17 World Cup. Headlined by U-20 World Cup Silver Boot winner Josh Sargent, promising Paris St. Germain prospect George Weah and Development Academy champion Andrew Carleton, the American attack is poised to be dangerous.

The rest of the squad is filled with MLS Homegrown talent, players from top Development Academy clubs and several strong European prospects. It’s been a stellar cycle for the U-17s, as they have compiled a 34-10-5 record, defeating seven teams in the World Cup field.

MORE: Hackworth Names USA Roster for 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup in India



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