2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup Quote Sheet
USA 0, SRB 0; Serbia wins 6-5 on penalty kicks
June 14, 2015
U-20 MNT head coach TAB RAMOS
On the match:
“It was a very good game. Serbia is one of those teams that is very disciplined, in particular defensively but also when they attack. I thought we countered them very well; I thought we were very well prepared for them. Unfortunately it was a game that could have gone either way and in penalties anything can happen. I’m just very happy for our players for how well they did, proud of how hard they played and know that we were that close in getting to a World Cup semifinals.
On having the game decided on penalty kicks:
“It’s always very difficult. Penalties is a very tough way to lose. But somebody had to win the game. Both teams defended pretty well throughout the game and I think it was two good teams playing a quarterfinal game. Somebody had to go through, and unfortunately it wasn’t us, but I’m very proud of the team.”
On how a tournament like this can help in the development of the players:
“You can take a lot, because at the end of the day the U-20 team is for development. And so hopefully they gained some great experience for the future and something that will be valuable for them on the senior team down the road.”
On his message to the team:
“I think the important thing is for them to keep their head up. They played great throughout the World Cup. We were very competitive with every team and we could have won every game. I’m very happy for them and the work they did, and hopefully this is a good experience for them down the road when they have to play the games that really count for World Cup Qualifying for the senior team.”
[FROM THE PRESS CONFERENCE]
On the match:
"It was a hard fought game. We obviously knew that Serbia is a very tactical team, they really know what they’re playing. They’re very patient and they wait for their opportunity. They did a great job. I thought we countered them really well. I thought we were very prepared for their game and we gave ourselves quite a few opportunities to win the game. So from our end, I’m satisfied considering we had a short roster – we really had some players out that were important for us. So I thought the boys did really well. They fought really hard, they stuck to the game plan and we gave them very few opportunities, so that was good from our end. And from their end, they played the game they’ve been playing all along. This is a well-coached team and they did a great job. I think they have as great an opportunity as anyone to win the tournament.”
On the penalty shootout:
“In the end, we have to remember that senior players miss penalties all the time. And so when you go to penalties all you can do is pick the guys who feel confident, who are happy to step up and take a penalty and that’s what we did. In the end, some guys missed, it happens. It happens at the higher levels than this level. Again, I’m very happy with my players and I know they showed a lot of courage. From our end, we’re satisfied. I think we could have done a little bit more, but in the end we’re happy.”
On how difficult it was to break down Serbia’s defense:
“Very difficult. One of the things we talked about coming into the match was that they are very organized defensively. And if you don’t counter them right away, if you don’t hit forward passes immediately after you recover, they get into very good shape in the back and then they make it very difficult to get shots; we knew that coming into the game. I thought we did very well in particular in the first 15-20 minutes of the game when we came out pressing high we seemed to get more control of the game. But then as the game wore on and the game opened up a little bit, I thought Serbia was very disciplined in maintaining their defense. They’re a very tough team, they’re very organized, and like I said before, well coached.”
U.S. U-20 MNT forward RUBIO RUBIN
On the tournament ending the way it did for the U.S.:
"It sucks. To lose that way after we tied them 0-0; we had opportunities to take over the game and win it, but at the end of the day we lost. We lost on PKs. It was a great team effort.
“Now we move on and we just have to keep our heads up. We’re going to have moments like these in our careers. This is one of our setbacks and it’s the way you react to it. I think everyone came into this tournament with a positive mentality to try to win the tournament, and unfortunately we couldn’t. It was a great run, a great team effort.”
On being part of the World Cup team:
“It was a great experience, from the beginning of the tournament through the group stage, beating Colombia and playing in the quarterfinals against Serbia. It was a tough battle going into overtime and even PK’s. You feel the pressure, you feel the nerves and everything. That’s all experience for us. We’re all 19-20 years old. This is just the beginning to setbacks and great moments in our careers. We’re going to have moments like the Colombia game where we’re very happy, and now a disappointment in the quarterfinals with a tough loss. It’s how you learn from this. We have to stay positive. Right now it sucks, every one has their head down. But tomorrow is a different day and we just have to stay positive and use this experience to help us down the road.”
U.S. U-20 MNT midfielder PAUL ARRIOLA
On his thoughts on the match:
“I thought it was a very back and forth game. Serbia is a very good team – they kept the ball, they were physical. And we were the same. We each had a few opportunities and in the end neither team was able to put one away. And unfortunately we had to go to penalty kicks and obviously there has to be a winner.”
On advancing to the quarterfinals of the U-20 World Cup:
"For all of us, from an experience standpoint, it was amazing. To be able to play in a U-20 World Cup, make it all the way to the quarterfinals and go to PKs. Obviously it’s unfortunate to lose like that but there’s nothing to be ashamed of.”
On what he can learn from a tournament like this:
“I think I learned a lot about myself in this tournament, especially going from not playing in the first game. I learned to really take my opportunity. Also when a group comes together like this, towards the end you realize what the group had. I look at ourselves and I see us as more than a team, I see us as brothers. I see all of us at the end of the game crying because of how bad we wanted it, not only for ourselves but for everyone else around us, everyone back home watching and supporting us, and people who flew here to support us. So for us to be able to form a brotherhood like we did to get this far in the World Cup was amazing.”
U.S. U-20 MNT goalkeeper ZACK STEFFEN
On the way the match ended:
"I’m very proud of how the guys fought for the whole 120 minutes. They left it all on the field and I couldn’t be more proud of that. It wasn’t the way we intended to go out, we wanted to keep this run going and get to the semis, but that’s soccer.”
On his standout play in the tournament:
“I try to stay grounded. My mom and whole family has always taught us to be humble and to stay grounded, so I don’t think of my play in that way. I want to keep improving and to stay focused. I’m going to go home for a couple weeks and then get back to Freiberg and continue working hard there.”
One what he can take away from playing in the U-20 World Cup:
“You learn a lot. You learn from your teammates and yourself when you’re with a group for so long with everyone focused on the same goals. You learn a lot about soccer with the great coaching. And you learn a lot about what you can continue improving on from the opponents you face and the games.”
U.S. U-20 MNT midfielder EMERSON HYNDMAN
On the match:
"It was a tough game I think for both teams. We really put everything out there and so did they. It went all the way to 120 minutes when it looked like either of us could have broke through at some point in the game. Then it went down to penalties and anything can happen there.”
On what he got out of his leadership role as captain of the team:
“It was nice to be the captain of a World Cup team. Any time you can help a group, especially your teammates that you hang around with all the team, in a game is always a joy. And this is such a great group, they’re all leaders anyway. All I had to do was help out a little bit and represent us.”
On what he can take away from the tournament for his future:
“This was the first for a lot of us. Qualifying, we thought was long at the time. But to really prepare mentally for each and every game in a World Cup is much different. It’s obviously much more competitive in terms of every team in the World Cup qualified from different regions, and they each have different styles. So I think this experience in preparing for and playing these different opponents will help all of us in the long run.”
On how he looks back at the tournament:
“It was awesome. It was a great month. To play in a World Cup, and in New Zealand, a place I didn’t know I’d ever visit. And to share these moments and experiences with a great group of guys and coaching staff and all the staff behind the scenes – It was a joy.”
AUCKLAND, New Zealand (June 14, 2015) – The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team saw its run in the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup come to an end at North Harbour Stadium after falling in penalty kicks to Serbia. The game went scoreless through regulation and extra time, but Serbia ultimately prevailed with a 6-5 shootout victory to advance to the semifinals.
Stout defensive performances from both sides limited scoring opportunities to a premium and the result was a 0-0 game when the whistle blew to signal the end of regulation. In extra time, play opened up, but valiant efforts from USA goalkeeper Zack Steffen and Serbian goalie Predrag Rajkovic held the 0-0 score line through the additional 30 minutes.
After a back and forth affair, where both the U.S. and Serbia survived must-make and must-save scenarios, it was Nemanja Maksimovic who sent a rocket of a PK into the upper left corner to propel Serbia on to the next round of the tournament.
The semifinal round will be played on Wednesday, June 17, at North Harbour Stadium in Auckland, New Zealand, where Serbia faces Mali and Brazil takes on Senegal.
Goal Scoring Rundown:
Penalty Kick Summary:
USA: Rubio Rubin stepped up first for the U.S. and had his shot saved by Predrag Rajkovic. Desevio Payne sent a rocket into the left side on the USA’s next attempt to level 1-1. Paul Arriola punched in the third attempt by smashing in a shot to the left of the goalie. The captain, Emerson Hyndman ripped in attempt No. 4 to put the U.S. up 3-2. Gedion Zelalem sent in his PK into the right side for the fourth-straight score for the USA. Joel Soñora went for the upper right corner on U.S. attempt No. 5 but hit his shot off the post. Marko Delgado rolled in the next attempt to put the U.S. up 5-4. Cameron Carter-Vickers then sent his shot over the bar, and in the final round, John Requejo’s attempt was saved by Rajkovic.
SRB: Sasa Zdjelar followed the Rubin miss by blasting his PK into the top right to put Serbia up 1-0. Stanisa Mandic missed the target completely on the Serbians’ second attempt, which kept the score level at 1-1. Steffen guessed right on Srdan Babic’s attempt, Serbia’s third, but it rolled under him to level at 2-2. Marko Grujic hit in the fourth attempt to tie it 3-3. Andrija Zivkovic scored the must-make fifth attempt to keep Serbia alive. Predag Rajkovic called his own number for Serbia’s sixth attempt, which could’ve been the game-winner, but Steffen made a diving save to preserve U.S. hopes. Nemanja Antonov converted the next Serbia penalty to level 5-5. On Serbia’s next PK Steffen came up big again to keep the U.S. alive when he saved Milos Veljkovic’s shot. Nemanja Maksimovic sent a rocket into the upper left corner and out of Steffen’s reach to win the game for Serbia 6-5.
Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
USA – Zack Steffen, 38th minute: Serbia’s Nemanja Antonov received a pass at the top of the box and decided to promptly rip a shot from 20 yards out. The left footed strike spun and rose from right to left and Steffen jumped and bumped it over the bar.
USA – Cameron Carter-Vickers, 54th minute: Good movement off the ball from Serbia led the team into a dangerous area in the penalty box. Serbia attempted a cross in front of goal, but Cameron Carter-Vickers stepped in just in time and cleared it far and away to safety.
USA – Zack Steffen, 68th minute: A foul set up Serbia with a free kick from 24 yards out, a range that they had buried from earlier in the tournament. Gacinovic’s strike was low and hard and bent toward the lower left corner of goal. Steffen dove and just reached the ball, knocking it out of bounds and preserving the clean sheet.
USA – Zack Steffen 82rd minute: Serbia once again attacked from the left and Stanisa Mandic freed himself up for a shot from the left. He sent a rocket of a shot across the mouth of the goal and towards the upper right corner, but Steffen made a diving save away where it was picked up by a U.S. defender
USA-Zack Steffen Penalty Kick Shootout: On two separate occasions where a Serbia goal would have ended the game, Steffen came up big, both times diving to his right and saving to keep U.S. hopes alive.
- This was the fifth time in 14 U-20 World Cup/Youth Championship appearances that the USA advanced to the quarterfinals. The team is now 1-3-1 all-time in quarterfinal matches.
- Tommy Thompson and John Requejo made their first starts of the tournament.
- Zack Steffen, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Marko Delgado and Emerson Hyndman were the only U.S. players to start every game of the tournament.
- After injuries and suspensions, only four U.S. field players were available for substitution in the game: Erik Palmer Brown, Shaq Moore, Conor Donovan and Joel Soñora.
- The match was the first meeting between the USA and Serbia at a U-20 World Cup.
- Since 1997 the U.S. has reached the quarterfinal three times and all three matches have required extra time.
- The clean sheet was the second straight for the USA. Prior to this tournament, the USA last recorded a clean sheet in a U-20 World Cup knockout round match in 2003 when the U.S. downed Ivory Coast 2-0 in the Round of 16. Tonight's shutout is the third all-time for the U.S. U-20 MNT in knockout round play at a FIFA U-20 World Youth Championship/World Cup.
- In addition to his two penalty kick saves tonight, Steffen also made a penalty kick save in the Round of 16 game against Colombia.
- The USA’s best World Cup finish was a fourth-place performance at the 1989 FIFA World Youth Championship in Saudi Arabia. That year the USA fell to Nigeria in overtime in the Semifinal before losing to Brazil, 2-0, in the Third/Fourth Place match.
-U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team Match Report-
Match: U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team vs. Serbia U-20 Men’s National Team
Date: June 14, 2015
Competition: 2015 FIFA Under-20 World Cup New Zealand; Quarterfinals
Venue: North Harbour Stadium; Auckland, New Zealand
Kickoff: 12:30 a.m. ET
Weather: 56 degrees, wind and rain
Scoring Summary: 1 2 ET1 ET2 F
USA 0 0 0 0 0
SRB 0 0 0 0 0
Penalty Kick Summary:
USA – Rubio Rubín (saved), Desevio Payne (goal), Paul Arriola (goal), Emerson Hyndman (goal), Gedion Zelalem (goal), Joel Soñora (missed), Marco Delgado (goal), Cameron Carter-Vickers (missed), John Requejo (saved)
SRB - Sasa Zdjelar (goal), Stanisa Mandic (missed), Srdan Babic (goal), Marko Grujic (goal), Andrija Zivkovic (goal), Predag Rajkovic (saved), Nemanja Antonov (goal), Milos Veljkovic (saved), Nemanja Maksimovic (goal)
USA: 1-Zack Steffen; 17-Desavio Payne, 4-Cameron Carter-Vickers, 5-Matt Miazga 3-John Requejo; 15-Marky Delgado, 8-Emerson Hyndman (capt.), 19-Gedion Zelalem, 7-Paul Arriola; 13-Tommy Thompson (10-Joel Soñora, 103), 9-Rubio Rubin
Substitutions Not Used: 12-Thomas Olsen, 21-Jeff Caldwell, 2-Shaquell Moore, 11-Bradford Jamieson IV, 16-Conor Donovan, 18-Erik Palmer-Brown
Head coach: Tab Ramos
SRB: 1-Predag Rajkovic (capt.); 3-Nemanja Antonov, 4-Sasa Zdjelar, 5-Milos Veljkovic, 6-Srdan Babic; 8-Nemanja Maksimovic, 9-Stanisa Mandic, 10-Mijat Gacinovic (7-Ivan Saponic, 68), 11-Andrija Zivkovic; 15-Miladin Stevanovic, 20-Sergej Milinkovic (16-Marko Grujic, 111)
Substitutions Not Used: 12-Filip Manojlovic, 21-Vanja Milinkovic, 13-Stefan Milosevic, 14-Vukasin Jovanovic, 17-Radovan Pankov, 18-Jankovic, 19-Stefan Ilic.
Head coach: Veljko Paunovic (SRB)
Stats Summary: USA / SRB
Shots: 8 / 19
Shots on Goal: 2 / 5
Saves: 5 / 2
Corner Kicks: 3 / 7
Fouls: 22 / 27
Offside: 1 / 2
SRB – Nemanja Antonov (caution) 64th minute
USA – John Requejo (caution) 66
SRB – Stanisa Mandic (caution) 78
Referee: Artur Dias (POR)
Assistant Referee 1: Rui Barbosa (POR)
Assistant Referee 2: Alvaro Daniel Carvalho Mesquita (POR)
Fourth Official: Ricardo Marques (BRA)
ussoccer.com Man of the Match: TBARead more