U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team draws France 1-1 in second group match at 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup
ISTANBUL, Turkey – The U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team got an important point after a well-deserved 1-1 draw with France in the second game of Group A in the 2013 U-20 FIFA World Cup.
Yaya Sanogo gave France a 1-0 lead with a penalty kick early in the second half, but the U-20s answered back when Daniel Cuevas scored off a deflection from a Luis Gil free kick just outside the box.
At the moment, the U.S. sits in third place with one point but Spain and Ghana have yet to finish their match.
The U-20 MNT now departs Istanbul and will set up base in Kayseri in preparation for its third and final Group A match against Ghana on Thursday, June 27, at Kadir Has Stadium. A win would give them a great opportunity to advance to the Round of 16.
The match kicks off at 8 p.m. local (1 p.m. ET) and will be broadcast live on ESPNU, WatchESPN and Univision Deportes. Fans can also follow the game via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker and on Twitter @ussoccer_ynt.
In the first half, Yaya Sanogo had the best chance for France in the 17th minute with a driving shot from just inside the penalty area, but U.S. goalkeeper Cody Cropper deflected it over the crossbar.
There was a flurry of action in stoppage time as both sides had opportunities. A cross from Alosnso Hernandez found Jose Villarreal in front of the box, but the France goalkeeper Alphonse Areola corralled his header.
France came right back on the counter-attack with a break down the right side of the field, but defender Shane O’Neill did a good job to get back and prevent the threat from coming to fruition.
A minute later, the U.S. was back the other way and Villarreal found a streaking Luis Gil, but the midfielder’s strike from 10 yards out did not have enough pace or placement to get past a diving Areola.
In the second half, both teams came out with a higher level of intensity and France was able to earn a penalty kick just three minutes after the break on a questionable call.
While Javan Toure clearly committed a foul on Dimitri Foulquier, it appeared to be just outside the box. Nonetheless referee Carlos Vera pointed to the spot without hestiation.
On the penalty, U.S. goalkeeper Cody Cropper guessed correctly and got a hand to Yaya Sanogo’s shot, but he couldn’t keep it from going into the net.
Down a goal, the U.S. did well to continue to press forward in an attempt to look for the equalizer and in the 64th minute earned their own penalty when Mario Rodriguez drew a foul in the box. Gil stepped up to take the spot kick, but his low strike to the right side was saved by Areola.
Despite the missed opportunity, the U.S. kept up the intensity and earned a dangerous free kick once again off the effort of Rodriguez who was fouled near the top right corner of the penalty area. Gil took the free kick low into the box where it was deflected, but Cuevas – who was positioned in the wall – turned and jumped on the loose ball, hitting a left-footed strike into the left side of the goal past a helpless Areola.
France attacked the U.S. net in the last ten minutes of the second half with a barrage of shots and crosses that gave the U-20 MNT a scare, but the defense held strong to earn an important point.
• Benji Joya received his second yellow card of the tournament and will miss the team’s final Group A match against Ghana.
• The U.S. has now earned a win or draw in their second game following a first-game loss six times in the U-20 FIFA World Cup. Their overall record after losing their first match is 4-1-2.
• Only once in its previous six first-game tournament losses has the U.S. advanced through to the group stage – the 2001 FIFA World Youth Championship, when the USA dropped a 1-0 decision to China PR but won and tied its next matches against Chile and Ukraine, respectively, to advance to the Round of 16.
• U-20 head coach Tab Ramos made two starting lineup changes following the USA’s 4-1 loss to Spain on June 21, brining on defender Shane O’Neill and midfielder Mario Rodriguez.
• O’Neill returned from his red card suspension which he served in the opening match due to receiving a red card in overtime of the championship game against Mexico in the CONCACAF U-20 Championship. O’Neill replaced Caleb Stanko and was paired alongside Javan Torre at center back against France.
• Rodriguez, who was a halftime sub against Spain, got the start against France, while Danny Garcia was unavailable because of a concussion he suffered during the second half of the Spain match.
• Midfielder Wil Trapp wore the captain’s armband for the first time this year. Trapp is the only U-20 MNT player to make an appearance in every match in 2013.
• Eight starters in the U-20 MNT lineup against France have ties to the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.
• The U-20s moved to 6-6-2 overall in international play this year.
• The U-20 MNT is now 18-25-7 all-time in FIFA World Youth Championship and FIFA U-20 World Cup competition.
-U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team Match Report-
Match: U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team vs. France
Date: June 24, 2013
Competition: 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup – Group A
Venue: Ali Sami Yen Arena; Istanbul, Turkey
Kickoff: 11 a.m. ET
Weather: 86 degrees, clear
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 1 1
FRA 0 1 1
FRA – Yaya Sanogo (penalty kick) 48th minute
USA – Daniel Cuevas 77
USA: 1-Cody Cropper; 2-DeAndre Yedlin, 5-Shane O’Neill, 14-Javan Torre, 3-Juan Pablo Ocegueda; 8-Benji Joya (15-Mikey Lopez, 88), 6-Wil Trapp (capt.); 11-Jose Villarreal (20-Daniel Cuevas, 77), 10-Luis Gil, 9-Mario Rodriguez; 19-Alonso Hernandez (18-Oscar Sorto, 46)
Subs Not Used: 4-Caleb Stanko, 7-Victor Pineda, 12-Kendall McIntosh, 13-Eric Miller, 16-Kellyn Acosta, 21-Zack Steffen
Unavailable: 17-Danny Garcia (injury)
Head Coach: Tab Ramos
FRA: 1-Alphonse Areola; 2-Dimitri Foulquier, 5-Samuel Umtiti, 6-Paul Pogba (capt.), 8-Geoffrey Kondogbia, 9-Yaya Sanogo, 11-Jean Christophe Bahebeck (17-Jordan Veretout, 74), 12-Lucas Digne, 13-Mario Lemina, 14-Mouhamadou Sarr, 20-Florian Thauvin (10-Axel Ngando, 46)
Subs Not Used: 3-Pierre Yves Polomat, 4-Kurt Zouma, 7-Thibaut Vion, 15-Alexy Bosetti, 16-Maxime Dupe, 18-Youssouf Sabaly, 19-Christopher Jullien, 21-Paul Charruau
Head Coach: Pierre Mankowski
Stats Summary: USA / FRA
Shots: 8 / 12
Shots on Goal: 6 / 5
Saves: 4 / 5
Corner Kicks: 8 / 4
Fouls: 22 / 20
Offside: 3 / 1
USA – Oscar Sorto (caution) 62nd minute
FRA – Samuel Umtiti (caution) 79
FRA – Paul Pogba (caution) 83
USA – Benji Joya (caution) 83
FRA – Mouhamadou Sarr (caution) 84
Referee: Carlos Vera (ECU)
Assistant Referee 1: Christian Lescano (ECU)
Assistant Referee 2: Byron Romero (ECU)
Fourth Official: Cuneyt Cakir (TUR)
ussoccer.com U-20 Man of the Match: Cody Cropper