October 2, 2009
But U.S. U20s can still advance
SUEZ, Egypt – The U.S. rounded out group play at the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup in third place with three points following a 3-0 loss to Korea Republic at Mubarak Stadium in Suez, Egypt.
Despite the loss, the U.S. finished in third place in Group C, meaning they still have a chance to advance to the Round of 16, based on results in other groups who have yet to play their respective third games.
Germany won 3-0 against Cameroon to take the group title with seven points from three games while keeping Cameroon on three points and behind the U.S. due to goal differential. Korea Republic began the day needing a win to stay alive, and used their victory against the U.S. to propel themselves to four points and second place in the group.
With England and Uzbekistan tying 1-1 in the nightcap in Suez, the U.S. has finished ahead of Uzbekistan, who had one point after three matches to finish in third place ahead of England. Third-place finishers Italy, from Group A, and Nigeria, from Group B, have already finished ahead of the U.S. team. To advance, the U.S. needs to finish ahead of one of the third-place teams in Group E or F after the final day of group play on Saturday night.
The U.S. team will stay in Suez through Saturday night, and if they advance they will travel to Cairo on Sunday, Oct. 4 to prepare for a Round of 16 match against Egypt, winners of Group A.
Korea opened the scoring in the 23rd minute when Kim Young Gwon collected a corner kick near the penalty spot. Kim took one touch before curling the ball off the inside of the post and past a helpless U.S. goalkeeper Brian Perk.
In the 42nd minute, Park Hee-Seong clipped a ball to the far post over the leaping Sheanon Williams. The ball dropped on the foot of Kim Bo-Kyung who took a quick touch before lashing a left-footed shot into the bottom left-hand corner of the U.S. goal past an outstretched Perk.
In the 75th minute U.S. defender Ike Opara was given a yellow card and a penalty kick was awarded after Opara challenged Koo in the area. Koo buried the pk, the third called against the U.S. in the tournament.
Danny Cruz had the best chance of the second half for the USA, after a flowing counterattack move finished with second-half sub Peri Marosevic feeding the ball to his teammate inside the area. Cruz wound up for a shot but his effort was blocked well by Korean defender Kim Min-Woo.
In addition to Opara’s suspension, should the U.S. advance to the Round of 16 they will be without the service of Williams who earned his second yellow card of the tournament.