U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team notches first win at Toulon Tournament with 1-0 victory over U-21 Congo DR
NICE, France – The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team blanked the Democratic Republic of Congo’s U-21 national team 1-0 in the USA’s third Group A match of the 41st edition of the Toulon Tournament at Stade de Ray.
Forward Daniel Cuevas scored a 75th-minute goal and goalkeepers Cody Cropper and Kendall McIntosh combined for a five-save clean sheet to pick up three points to move into third place in the group at 1-2-0.
First-place France (2-0-1, 7 points) played Korea Republic (0-1-1, 1 point) to a scoreless draw later Saturday, while Colombia (2-0-0, 6 points) was idle and Congo DR dropped to 0-2-0 (0 points). The top two teams in the group advance to the first- and third-place games on June 8.
U-20 MNT head coach Tab Ramos made five starting lineup changes from its previous game against Colombia as he surveys his full roster in preparation for the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey.
The U-20s cap off the group stage of the tournament when they face Korea Republic on June 5 at Stade Louis Hon in Saint-Raphael. The game kicks off at 5 p.m. local (11 a.m. ET) and will be broadcast on beIN SPORT.
Cropper came up big in the first 40-minute half with four saves. In the 18th minute, Cropper stretched to his left to thwart an impressive 28-yard strike from Congo’s Clarck Nsikulu, and one minute later he stuffed an Anthony Walongwa shot from up close.
Victor Pineda, who missed a good portion of 2012 because of a torn meniscus, saw his first in-game play with the U-20s this year as he got the start. The USA had two shots on goal in the first half, both coming from Pineda in the sixth and 36th minutes. The latter strike was one of the team’s closest scoring chances as he maneuvered past a Congo defender down the left side and ripped a left-footed shot inside the box, but Congo goalkeeper Riffi Mandanda made the save.
With neither team threatening the goal through a good portion of the second half, the U.S. broke the scoreless stalemate in the 75th minute. Second-half sub Alonso Hernandez had his back to the goal and dropped the ball to Cuevas near the top of the box. Cuevas fired to the right side of the frame past diving Congo goalkeeper Riffi Mandanda and the shot was out of his reach for a 1-0 USA lead.
Congo had a potential scoring chance in the 80th minute as Mike Cestor placed his free kick at a dangerous spot in the box. McIntosh rushed off of his line and stepped in front of Anthony Walongwa in the nick of time to preserve the shutout.
Both teams had 10 shots and Congo DR held a 5-3 shots on goal advantage.
- Among Tab Ramos’ changes to his starting lineup from the May 30 game against Colombia, forward Jordan Morris got the start up front in place of Alonso Hernandez.
- Goalkeeper Cody Cropper returned in place of Kendall McIntosh, while other defensive changes included Juan Pablo Ocegueda at left back and Kellyn Acosta moving to right back for Eric Miller. Acosta started at defensive midfield against Colombia.
- Midfielder Mikey Lopez, who caught up with the team midway through the tournament, made his first start and appearance in the event.
- Midfielder Victor Pineda started and appeared for the first time in the tournament. Pineda suffered a torn meniscus in 2012 and the injury had kept him out of consideration for the 2013 CONCACAF U-20 Championship.
- The U-20 MNT’s starting 11 featured eight players with Development Academy ties – six former players and two current Academy players in Acosta and Morris for FC Dallas and the Seattle Sounders, respectively.
- The U.S. lineup also included six players who started against Mexico in the final of the 2013 CONCACAF U-20 Championship on March 3: Cropper, Torre, Ocegueda, Benji Joya, Lopez and Danny Garcia.
- The U-20s moved to 5-4-1 overall in international play this year.
-U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team Match Report-
Match: U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team vs. Congo DR
Date: June 1, 2013
Competition: Tournoi Espoirs de Toulon (Toulon Tournament); Group A
Venue: Stade du Ray; Nice, France
Kickoff: 9:30 a.m. ET
Weather: 73 degrees, partly cloudy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 1 1
CGO 0 0 0
USA – Daniel Cuevas (Alonso Hernandez) 75th minute
USA: 1-Cody Cropper (12-Kendall McIntosh, 41); 15-Kellyn Acosta, 4-Caleb Stanko (capt.), 21-Javan Torre, 3-Juan Pablo Ocegueda; 8-Benji Joya, 5-Mikey Lopez; 7-Victor Pineda (13-Dillon Serna, 59), 20-Danny Garcia (6-Wil Trapp, 57), 11-Daniel Cuevas; 16-Jordan Morris (9-Alonso Hernandez, 41)
Subs Not Used: 2-Eric Miller, 10-Collin Martin, 14-Oscar Sorto, 18-Jeffrey Payeras, 19-Alfred Koroma, 24-Marlon Hairston
Head Coach: Tab Ramos
CGO: 1-Riffi Mandanda; 2-Marcel Tisserand, 4-Anthony Walongwa, 19-Chancel Mbemba, 3-Mike Cestor; 20-Jonathan Bijimine (18-Aristote Nsiala, 70), 21-Omenuke Mfulu (11-Olivier Lusamba, 57), 8-Patrick Nzuzi; 12-Clarck Nsikulu (7-Bidje Manzia, 70), 9-Hermann Kabasele, 10-Harrison Manzala
Subs Not Used: 5-Thierry Kasereka, 6-Lema Mabidi, 13, Heritier Luvumbu, 14-Ndombe Mubele, 15-Herve Ndonga, 16-Lorhim Diafuka, 17-Merveille Bope, 22-Grace Katshimuka
Head Coach: Sebastien Migne
Stats Summary: USA / CGO
Shots: 10 / 10
Shots on Goal: 3 / 5
Saves: 5 / 2
Corner Kicks: 3 / 2
Fouls: 11 / 11
Offside: 0 / 0
Referee: Soares Dias (POR)
Assistant Referee 1: Alzawahreh (JOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Licinio Tavares (POR)
Fourth Official: Costa Pereira (POR)