U-17 USMNT defeats Turkey 1-0 in opening match at Nike International Friendlies
LAKEWOOD RANCH, Fla. – The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team recorded a 1-0 victory against Turkey in its first match of the 19th annual Nike International Friendlies at the Premier Sports Campus on Thursday night.
The Americans took the round-robin competition’s lead with three points after the U.S. U-16 Boys’ National Team and the Netherlands played to a 3-3 draw earlier in the day.
Noah Jones tallied the lone goal for the USA in the opening half as goalkeeper Seth Wilson, who wasn’t severely tested, recorded the clean sheet.
The USA grabbed a 1-0 lead in the 16th minute after a poor clearance by a Turkey defender. Jack De Vries latched onto the ball on the left side and outraced his man to the end line before sending a line-drive cross toward goal. Jones crashed the net and headed the ball past goalkeeper Osman Ertugrul Celin.
The goal appeared to wake up the Turks, who tried to level on several occasions. The Americans’ defense, backline and team, were well positioned to stop several forays into their zone and block many shots before they got close to Wilson.
Turkey’s most dangerous player was Emre Demir, who came close to equalizing on the half hour, firing a shot off the right post.
The Americans were unable to procure an insurance goal in what turned into a more physical second half.
Two minutes into second-half stoppage time, Demir set up Emin Bayram with one of his left-side crosses but his teammate sent his shot from the penalty spot wide left. Bayram had another opportunity a minute later but his attempt from the top of the penalty area sailed over the crossbar seconds before the game ended.
The match capped a memorable opening day of the Nike International Friendlies. In the first game of the doubleheader, the U.S. U-17’s scored twice in stoppage time to pull off a dramatic 3-3 tie with the Netherlands.
The U-17’s next meet the U.S. U-16 BNT on Saturday, Nov. 16 at 6:30 p.m.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN:
USA – Noah Jones (Jack De Vries), 16th minute:
After taking advantage of a poor clearance by a Turkey defender, Jack De Vries latched onto the ball on the left side. He then outraced his marker Selman Faruk Dibek to the end line before sending a hard cross toward the goal. An alert Noah Jones crashed the net and headed the ball past keeper Osman Ertugrul Celin. USA 1, TUR 0 FINAL
KEY SAVES & DEFENSIVE STOPS:
USA – Seth Wilson, 68th minute: It may not go down in the books as an official save, but USA goalkeeper Seth Wilson averted a dangerous situation when he pounced on Yigit Emre Celtik’s hard low cross from the left flank in the 68th minute. Had he not, Emre Demir was waiting at the far post to poke it home for the equalizer.