June 22, 2011
U.S. U-17s FALL
Late pk gives Uzbekistan a 2-1 win
TORREON, Mexico – A second half penalty kick gave Uzbekistan a 2-1 win over the United States in the second group match of the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup at Estadio Torreon Wednesday.
The U.S. fell behind in the 13th minute on a goal by Bobir Davlatov, before an Alfred Koroma goal just after halftime leveled the score. A penalty coverted by Abbosbek Makhstaliev just seven minutes later lifted Uzbekistan to its first-ever win at the FIFA U-17 World Cup.
“We talked to the boys about going in with a lot of concentration knowing Uzbekistan was coming hard to play for their life, their possibility to survive in the World Cup,” said U.S. head coach Wilmer Cabrera. “We spoke with them about Uzbekistan being a team that was going to play with a lot of heart and passion. The players went onto the field too relaxed, in slow motion. When we finally reacted we were down 1-0. This is a mental game. Uzbekistan was motivated and more aggressive, more into the game than our players.”
A miss-clearance in the U.S. box popped the ball high for Uzbekistan’s Jasurbek Khakimov who touched it over to Bobir Davlatov, and his shot curled perfectly into the far side netting to give Uzbekistan the 1-0 lead in the 13th minute.
Koroma entered the game at the start of the second half for Esteban Rodriguez and tied the game in the 47th minute with his first touches on the ball. The ball popped out to the top of the box to Matt Dunn, who drove a ball into the area, and Koroma fought off a defender to slip it past the goalkeeper for his second goal of the tournament.
Seven minutes later, Uzbekistan re-took the lead when Zach Carroll was whistled for a foul in the penalty area. Makhstaliev converted the penalty kick to give Uzbekistan the 2-1 lead.
With all four teams in Group D locked on three points, the U.S. is currently tied for the top place in the group with New Zealand based on tiebreakers, but all four teams are still in a position to either win the group or finish in fourth place.
The U.S. will face New Zealand with the top place in Group D on the line on Saturday, June 25, at 7 p.m. ET at Estadio Hidalgo in Pachuca, Mexico.