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U.S. MEN'S NATIONAL TEAM

September 26, 2009
BAD START
U.S. falls in first game at U-20 World Cup


SUEZ, Egypt– Reigning European champion Germany scored two goals within three minutes in the first half and went on to defeat the U.S. 3-0 in the first game for both teams at the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup.

“This clearly wasn’t a good day for us. We have to give Germany some credit, they are the European champions and we knew we’d be in for a long and hard match, we were prepared for that,” said U.S. head coach Thomas Rongen, who is leading the U.S. at this event for the third time. “Saying that, the team as a whole, especially in the first half, gave Germany a little too much respect.

Germany took the lead in the 30th minute when on a counter attack, Bjorn Kopplin found his way into the penalty box and cut toward goal. U.S. Forward Brian Ownby, tracking back quickly to make up ground, tackled Kopplin and was whistled for a penalty.

U.S. goalkeeper, Brian Perk, who had stopped two penalty shots in the semifinal of the CONCACAF U-20 Championship in March, dove to his left as Semih Aydilek put the ball low and to his right.

The U.S. goalkeeper, who entered the game having given up only one goal in nine games this year, got a hand on the second goal in the 32nd minute, which came after Germany earned one of its four first-half corner kicks. The driven ball went to the top of the box, where Florian Jungwirth was waiting. Jungwirth took a touch and fired a shot through a crowd, where Perk was able to react quickly and get a hand on the ball, but couldn’t keep it from hitting high inside the net.

In the 62nd minute, the U.S. had their best chance of the game, as Arguez played a through ball that sprung Mikkel Diskerud into the box. Diskerud took a touch toward goal and played a low shot in an effort to slip the ball past Ron-Robert Zeiler, but the goalkeeper sprawled out to make the save. Four minutes later, Jared Jeffrey took the ball from about 25 yards out and hit a hard shot that clanged off the crossbar.

Germany’s third goal came in the 73rd minute, during another counterattack opportunity. Cihan Kaptan found some space down his right wing, and drove a low ball across the box. Manuel Schaeffler was there, running with Ike Opara at the far post. Schaeffler slid and was able to get his body on it and push it into the goal.

Cameroon topped Korea Republic 2-0, in the second game of the double-header at Mubarak Stadium in Suez, Egypt, meaning that they are tied for the group lead with Germany on three points.

The U.S. has a chance to rebound against Cameroon on Tuesday, Sept. 29, at 6:45 p.m. local time (12:45 p.m. ET), in a game that will be shown live on ESPN2 and Galavision.

   
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