U.S. U17 World Cup hopes came to a disappointing end Saturday in Goa, India with a comprehensive 4-1 loss to England.
The English had qualified for this quarterfinal showdown via penalty kicks versus Japan, in a less than stellar performance that had some predicting that this U.S. side would match the famous Landon Donovan and DaMarcus Beasley led crew that reached the semifinals of the 1999 event, the best the Americans have finished at this tournament.
But those hopes were dashed when England’s talented young striker Rhian Brewster put the Americans on the ropes with goals in the 11th and 14th minutes before knocking the Young Yanks to the canvas with a goal from the penalty spot in stoppage time.
Morgan Gibbs-White had added a third goal by then to put England up 3-0 in the 64th minute, apparently ending the match as a contest. But the U.S. would fight back with a period of dominant play, as they had after Brewster’s second tally.
The Americans had been unable to narrow England’s lead with that good first half spell, coming closest when Josh Sargent’s shot hit the crossbar. A goal there would have halved the score with plenty of time left but the woodwork intervened.
This second positive American stretch did yield a goal, with Sargent finishing a Sergino Dest cross from close range with an English defender down on the ground.
Sargent’s goal came in the 72nd minute and made the score 3-1 to England, so time was of the essence for the U.S. With no other choice the Americans pushed forward at every opportunity, leaving themselves vulnerable to the talented English attack. At one point the U.S. found itself pinned back by a series of corner kicks, desperate to get the ball out of its own goal area.
In the end, Dest conceded the late penalty to a rampaging Brewster, earning a red card and sealing his team’s fate.
But in this gloomy time for the United States men’s soccer program, there were some promising performances from U.S. players, with James Sands, Andrew Carleton, and Timothy Weah standing out at times.
Chris Durkin was probably the most consistent and best U.S. player, even while forced into playing central defense, rather than his preferred midfield.
And Josh Sargent had his moments, even if the soon to be Werder Bremen man never quite reached the heights he had when dominating earlier this year at the U20 World Cup.
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 1 1
ENG 2 2 4
ENG – Rhian Brewster 11th minute
ENG – Rhian Brewster (Philip Foden) 14
ENG – Morgan Gibbs-White (Rhian Brewster) 64
USA – Josh Sargent 72
ENG – Rhian Brewseter (penalty kick) 90+5
USA: 1-Justin Garces; 14-Akil Watts (17-Bryan Reynolds, 81), 6-Chris Durkin, 4-James Sands, 3-Chris Gloster; 11-Andrew Carleton, 8-Blaine Ferri (18-Indiana Vassilev, 73), 16-Taylor Booth (13-Sergino Dest, 55); 7-Ayo Akinola, 9-Josh Sargent (Capt.), 10-Tim Weah
Subs Not Used: 2-Jaylin Lindsey, 5-Tyler Shaver, 12-CJ Dos Santos, 15-George Acosta, 19-Jacobo Reyes, 21-Alex Budnik
Unavailable: 20-Chris Goslin
Head Coach: John Hackworth
ENG: 1-Curtis Anderson; 4-George McEachran, 5-Marc Guéhi, 6-Jonathan Panzo, 7-Philip Foden (12-Nya Kirby, 85), 8-Tashan Oakley-Boothe, 9-Rhian Brewster, 14-Callum Hudson-Odoi (16-Daniel Loader, 90+1), 15-Joel Latibeaudiere (Capt.), 18-Steve Sessegnon, 19-Morgan Gibbs-White (20-Conor Gallagher, 78)
Subs Not Used: 13-Josef Bursik, 21-William Crellin, 2-Tim Eyoma, 3-Lewis Gibson, 10-Angel Gomes, 17-Emile Smith-Rowe
Head Coach: Steve Cooper
Stats Summary: USA/ENG
Shots on Goal: 4/12
Corner Kicks: 8/10
USA – Taylor Booth (caution) 35th minute
ENG – Conor Gallagher (caution) 78
USA – Sergino Dest (sent off) 90+5