U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team punches ticket to Aegean Cup Championship with 5-2 win over Norway
MANISA, Turkey – The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team continued its sterling start at the 2014 Aegean Cup by defeating Norway 5-2 on Tuesday to book its place in the tournament’s championship match.
The USA (2-0-0; 6pts) sits atop Group B and will play Scotland on Thursday before advancing to the tournament championship on Saturday. With France and Scotland drawing 1-1, neither team can catch the USA on points. Should the USA lose to Scotland and Norway beat France on Thursday, bringing the Americans and Scandinavians even on points, the USA will still go through as the top team in Group B by virtue of beating Norway head-to-head.
The USA’s victory against Norway was secured with three unanswered goals early in the second half, after the two teams went in to half time tied at 2-2. U.S. captain Alexis Velela scored the winning goal seven minutes after the restart, and Christian Pulisic added another three minutes later to give the USA some breathing room. Pulisic’s strike was his third goal in as many games dating back to the USA’s final match against Brazil at the Nike International Friendlies in December.
Nicholas Taitague, a call up from the U-15 Boys’ National Team, capped the proceedings after coming on as a second-half sub with his first international goal for the U.S. U-17 MNT in the 58th minute.
In the first half, forward Elijah Rice started off a late barrage of goals when he opened his U-17 account in the 21st minute. However, a pair of strikes from Norway’s John Hou Saeter and Sander Berge saw the match tilt in favor of the Scandinavians with five minutes remaining until the break.
The USA evened matters in the final minute of the half through newcomer McKinzie Gaines, who was just added to U.S. Soccer’s Residency Program this semester. After playing 11 minutes in the team’s 2-1 win against France on Monday, Gaines seized his opportunity to haul the U.S. level by scoring his first international goal in his first start with the U.S. U-17 National Team.
– U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team Match Report –
Match: United States U-17 98-99 Men’s National Team vs. Norway
Date: January 21st, 2014
Competition: 2014 Mercedes-Benz Aegean Cup
Venue: Akhisar ilce Stadi
Kickoff: 12:00pm GMT/UTC + 2
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 2 3 5
Norway 2 0 2
USA Elijah Rice 21st minute
Norway John Hou Saeter 27th minute
Norway Sander Berge 35th minute
USA Orrin McKinze Gaines 40th minute
USA Alexis Velela 47th minute
USA Christian Pulisic 50th minute
USA Nicholas Taitague (Elijah Rice) 58th minute
USA: 1-Will Pulisic; 13-John Nelson, 5-Hugo Arellano, 18-Tanner Dieterich, 4-Alexis Velela (capt.) (2-Matt Olosunde, 54); 16-Thomas McCabe, 14-Logan Panchot (8- Luca De La Torre, 41), 20-Nicholas Taitague (19-Joe Gallardo, 66), 15-Devin Vega (10-Christian Pulisic, 41); 9-Elijah Rice, 17-Orrin McKinze Gaines (7-Haji Wright, 41)
Subs Not Used: 12-Carlos Avilez, 3-Edwin Lara
Head Coach: Richie Williams
Norway: 1-Jonatan Strand Byttingsvik; 7-Henril Bredeli, 6-Mathias Laudal, 5-Henrik Carlyle (4-Joachim Barstad, 65), 3-Edvard Aretun; 14-Markus Myre Aanesland, 11-Behrouz Habib, 8-John Hou Saeter (capt.) (9-Kristoffer Vassbakk Ajer, 41), 16-Martin Odegaard (13-Niklas Ontonsen, 73), 10-Sandar Berge (15-Rafik Zeknini, 65); 18-Andreas Klausen Helmersen (17-Birk Risa, 65)
Subs Not Used: 2-Patrik Braathen, 12-Mariua Halvorsen
Head Coach: Harry Hensen
Stats Summary: USA / Norway
**PLEASE NOTE –Game was 80 minutes**