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Global Jun 05, 2015

U.S. U-20 MNT falls to Ukraine 3-0 in final group match, still moves on to Round of 16

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AUCKLAND, New Zealand (Via U.S. Soccer) – The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team dropped its final match of Group A at the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup, falling 3-0 to Ukraine at North Harbor Stadium in Auckland.

With the loss, the USA (2-1-0; 6 points) finishes Group A in second place behind first-place Ukraine (2-0-1; 7 points) and ahead of New Zealand (1-1-1; 4 points) and Myanmar  (0-3-0; 0 points).

The U.S. now awaits the conclusion of the group stage matches to find out its opponent for the Round of 16, which will be the second seed of Group C (Portugal, Colombia or Senegal). After two games, Portugal leads Group C with six points followed by Colombia with four, Senegal with one and Qatar with zero.

The U.S. will play on June 10 at Wellington Regional Stadium in Wellington, New Zealand. Kickoff is set for 3:30 a.m. ET on FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports Go and NBC Universo.

After an even first half, Ukraine came out strong in the second frame, taking advantage of its set pieces and multiple opportunities. Vicktor Kovalenko was the spark for the Europeans, scoring all three goals. The USA had a chance to tie the match after the first Ukraine score in the 59th minute when a penalty was awarded to the Red, White and Blue following a foul on Jordan Allen. However, Emerson Hyndman’s attempt was saved, keeping the U.S. off the board.

Goal Scoring Rundown:
UKR – Viktor Kovalenko, 56th minute: After Cameron Carter-Vickers got called for a foul right outside the USA box, Ukraine lined up at about 20 yards from the goal to take its free kick. Viktor Kovalenko stepped up to take it and sent a perfectly curved ball up and over the wall of USA defenders, right into the lower left corner of the net and past Zack Steffen’s outstretched arms for the first score of the night. USA 0, UKR 1

UKR – Viktor Kovalenko (Eduard Sobol), 74th minute: Ukraine attacked up the left flank and Vladyslav Kabaiev laid it off to Eduard Sobol, who had overlapped him. Sobol cut it back quickly for Viktor Kovalenko, who shot it across the goalmouth past Steffen and inside the far post for his second strike. USA 0, UKR 2

UKR – Viktor Kovalenko (Artem Biesiedin), 79th minute: Artem Biesiedin played the ball into U.S. territory and evaded a couple of defenders outside the box to send a pass to Kovalenko, who was waiting on the left side of the penalty area. U.S. goalkeeper Zack Steffen came out of his net as he tried to block Kovalenko’s attempt; however Kovalenko sent the ball to the far post, diagonal from where Steffen was, to complete his hat trick performance. USA 0, UKR 3 (FINAL)

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
USA – Zack Steffen, 44th and 45th minute: Artem Biesiedin had back-to-back chances at the end of the first half to put Ukraine on the board. First, he sent a right-footed shot from the left side of the box that ended up right in Steffen’s arms, and another straight-on blast from 20 yards out that Steffen once again was able to corral in order to avoid a Ukrainian tally in the opening half.

UKR – Roman Pidkivka, 59th minute: USA’s Jordan Allen went down inside the box on the left side, and got the penalty kick call from the referee. Emerson Hyndman stepped up to take the shot, but Roman Pidkivka correctly guessed Hyndman’s direction, leaning to his right side and extending his arms to push the ball out of bounds for a USA corner.

USA – Zack Steffen, 65th minute: Viktor Kovalenko pressured Zack Steffen and the U.S. defense constantly in the second half, especially with his set piece plays. On yet another free kick, Kovalenko sent a great ball from the right side of the 18-yard box towards the middle of the box to try to find a teammate who could finish. This time however, Steffen came out and punched the ball out of danger quickly.

Next on the Schedule: The U.S. U-20 MNT opponent is still TBD (No. 2 Group C), but the U.S. will play on June 10 in the Round of 16, when the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup enters the knockout stage. Kickoff is set for 3:30 a.m. ET at Wellington Regional Stadium in Wellington, New Zealand.
Broadcast information:  FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports Go, NBC Universo

Additional Notes:

  • This is the fifth time the U.S. has finished U-20 World Cup group play with two wins. The others were 1999, 2003, 2005 and 2007.
  • The U.S. advances to the second round of the U-20 World Cup for the ninth time in 14 appearances.
  • Hyndman wore the captain’s armband for the fourth-straight time. He made his debut as captain against Australia during a friendly on May 19.
  • The USA’s three substitutions of the game were: Joel Soñora for Marky Delgado, Rubio Rubin for Jordan Allen and Conor Donovan for Emerson Hyndman, all coming in the second half.
  • Rubin and Hydman are the only two players on the roster to have been capped at the senior level under U.S. MNT head coach, Jurgen Klinsmann. Hyndman made his debut during the second half of the U.S. MNT’s 1-0 win against the Czech Republic in September 2014, and Rubin started against then No. 3-ranked Colombia this past November.
  • The defense was anchored by Erik Palmer-Brown, Shaquelle Moore, Cameron Carter-Vickers and Kellyn Acosta.
  • Carter-Vickers, Acosta, Hyndman, Steffen and Delgado were the only players to start all three group stage matches for the USA.
  • Palmer-Brown made his first start of the tournament against Ukraine and Donovan made his first appearance of the tournament.
  • The USA’s starting lineup had three players born in 1997 for the first time in the tournament: Palmer-Brown, Carter-Vickers and Zelalem.

-U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team Match Report-

Match: U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team vs. Ukraine U-20 Men’s National Team
Date:June 5, 2015
Competition:2015 FIFA Under-20 World Cup New Zealand (Group Stage)
Venue:North Harbor Stadium; Auckland, New Zealand
Kickoff:3:00 a.m. ET
Weather:56 degrees; Cloudy

Scoring Summary:   1          2          F
USA                          0          0          0
UKR                          0          3          3

UKR – Viktor Kovalenko        57th minute
UKR – Viktor Kovalenko        74
UKR – Viktor Kovalenko        79

USA: 1-Zack Steffen; 2-Shaq Moore, 4-Cameron Carter-Vickers, 18-Erik Palmer-Brown, 6-Kellyn Acosta; 15-Marky Delgado (10-Joel Soñora, 60), 8-Emerson Hyndman (capt.) (16-Conor Donovan, 84), 19-Gedion Zelalem, 20-Jordan Allen (9-Rubio Rubin, 67); 7-Paul Arriola, 11-Bradford Jamieson IV
Subs Not Used: 12-Thomas Olsen, 21-Jeff Caldwell, 3-John Requejo, 5-Matt Miazga, 13-Tommy Thompson, 17-Desevio Payne
Head coach: Tab Ramos

UKR: 12-Bohdan Sarnavskyi; 2-Taras Kacharaba, 4-Mykyta Burda, 7-Yevhen Chumak (13-Artem Habelok, 80), 8-Pavlo Polehenko; 9-Vladyslav Kabaiev, 10-Artem Biesiedin (11-Roman Yaremchuk, 85), 14-Valerii Luchkevych, 17-Viktor Kovalenko (5-Yurii Tkachuk, 87); 18-Eduard Sobol, 21-Ihor Kharatin
Subs Not Used: 1-Roman Pidkivka, 16-Yevgen Grytsenko, 2-Artur Kunetsov, 6-Viacheslav Tankovskyi, 15-Mykyta Tatarkov, 19-Oleksii Kovtun, 20-Yevhenii Nemtinov
Head coach: Oleksandr Petrakov

Stats Summary: USA / UKR
Shots: 13 / 16
Shots on Goal: 2 / 6
Saves: 3 / 2
Corner Kicks: 5 / 4
Fouls: 22 / 15
Offside: 2 / 2

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Marky Delgado (caution)        22nd minute
USA – Kellyn Acosta (caution)         41
USA – Jordan Allen (caution)           65
UKR – Yurii Tkachuk (caution)         89

Referee: Eric Otogo-Castane (GAB)
Assistant Referee 1: Elvis Noupe (CMR)
Assistant Referee 2: Yahaya Mahamadou (NIG)
Fourth Official: Jesus Valenzuela (VEN)

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