October 26, 2009
OPENING U-17 LOSS
U.S. falls to Spain, 2-1
KANO, Nigeria ---Man down Spain came from behind to defeat the United States 2-1 in the opening game of the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup at Sani Abacha Stadium.
Spain, the seven-time European champions, went a man down in only the second minute of the game, when Luis Gil launched a deep ball for Jack McInerney to run onto. McInerney clearly beat Spanish defender Sergi Gomez, who tried to tackle the ball away from behind.
Two minutes later, the U.S. took full advantage with a goal by McInerney, who challenged the Spanish goalkeeper on a high, lofted ball from Marlon Duran off a throw-in. The high cross fell through the hands of Edgar at the edge of his six-yard box and McInerney only had to tap the ball across the line behind the goalkeeper. The goal was a team-leading tenth in 2009 for the forward from Alpharetta, Ga.
Spain tied the score in the 22nd minute with a goal from Borja. Dribbling up the middle, Spanish forward Iker Muniain – the youngest player to ever score in La Liga – passed the ball to his left for an onrushing Pablo Sarabia. Sarabia beat the U.S. offside trap and sent a cross through the box for Borja who only had to redirect it past Edwards into the right side of the goal to tie the game.
Spain took the lead just eight minutes later on a quick goal that started with a punt from Edgar. Misjudging the bounce, U.S. defender Jared Watts missed the header, leaving Borja alone to run down the punt as it rolled down the right sideline. Taking one touch, Borja drilled it across the box in the air to the far side where it found the feet of Sarabia. Collecting the ball in the air, the Spanish striker rocketed a shot from a very sharp angle on the left side of the goal box, beating Edwards to the right upper 90.
With the loss, the U.S. falls to third after Matchday 1 of Group E after Matchday 1 of the FIFA U-17 World Cup, ahead of Malawi, who fell to the United Arab Emirates 2-0 earlier in the day. Spain takes second in the group, behind U.A.E. The U.S. will look to rebound against Malawi in their next match on Oct. 29 at 11 a.m. ET. The match will be broadcast on ESPNU, Galavision and ESPN360.com. Fans can also follow along with ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker and at twitter.com/ussoccer.