March 29, 2011
TOP OF THE GROUP
U-20s beat Suriname to take Group B lead
GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala – The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team opened its CONCACAF U-20 Championship campaign with a 4-0 win over Suriname at Estadio Nacional Mateo Flores in Guatemala City. Kelyn Rowe and Conor Doyle led the U.S. offense with a goal and an assist each, while Bobby Wood and Joe Gyau each added a goal.
The U.S. took over first place in Group B with the three points, and will wrap up group play against Panama on Saturday, April 2 at 6 p.m. local time (8 p.m. ET, ESPN Deportes).
The U.S. can qualify for the quarterfinals if Panama tops Suriname on Thursday, or if that match ends in a draw. Either result would assure that three points would be enough to finish in second place in the group. In Group A action, Guatemala topped Jamaica 2-0 to put the hosts in a good position to advance.
The top two teams in each group will advance to the quarterfinals with Group B set to play the top two finishers in Group A, which is made up of host Guatemala, Honduras and Jamaica. The four quarterfinal winners move on to the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Colombia.
The U.S. controlled much of the play from the opening whistle, and Wood opened the scoring in the 19th minute. After earning a free kick along the right touchline, Greg Garza whipped a ball in toward the far post, where Wood chested the ball into the net.
Nine minutes later, forward Doyle forced a turnover in Suriname’s defensive end and found Sebastian Lletget, who took a touch and then played the ball ahead for Gyau. The Hoffenheim forward took a touch into the box and lined up a low shot that went into the far-side netting.
In the 37th minute, Doyle got a goal of his own. Kelyn Rowe played a cross to the far post where both Wood and Doyle were waiting unmarked. Doyle nodded the ball down and Suriname goalkeeper Claidel Kohinor made the initial save, but the ball slipped out of his hands and bounced into the goal.
The second half was more of the same, with the U.S. continuing to control the pace of the game. Suriname pressed for a goal and a way back into the match, but things took a turn for the worst when substitute Biorn Eduards was sent off in the 74th minute, less than one minute after entering the game.
The U.S. scored their final goal in the 81st minute, with the play again coming through Doyle. He received the ball inside the attacking half, turned and played the ball to a wide open Rowe near the top of the 18 yard box. Rowe took a touch to line up his shot and fired it inside the near post.