Monday, February 18, 2013

US U20's Win Opener

The US Under 20 national team got their qualification campaign for the 2013 U20 World Cup off to a winning start as they defeated Haiti 2-1 in Puebla, Mexico.  The US got goals from Luis Gil and Daniel Cuevas in the first half.  The first goal came from the penalty spot after Cuevas was brought down in the box.  Gil stepped up and buried the PK to make it 1-0.  A short while later Cuevas received a cross from Gil and buried a shot in the far post and the US looked to be cruising.  But while the US looked decent in attack, the defense, which was missing a few of their starting center backs, looked poor.  Haiti found plenty of space throughout the defense and midfield and were able to control the game, especially after the US went up 2-0.

Early in the second half Haiti found 1 goal that got them back into the game.  From there the US was able to absorb the pressure and eventually held off long enough to get the win.  They held on and now top their 3 team group.  Costa Rica and Haiti play on Wednesday and should Costa Rica win, the US will be through to the quarterfinals before they even take the field against Costa Rica. 

Sporting KC draft pick, Mikey Lopez came on in the 65th minute as a substitute to try to help and compose and control the midfield.  He certainly helped with some of the problems that the US had, but the way the game had gone there wasn't a lot he could do.  The US will need to improve their performance to make it to the semifinals and qualify for the summer's World Cup in Turkey.

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