The United States U20’s picked up their first win of the Toulon Tournament today (Saturday) when they defeated Congo DR 1-0. It was a solid, if unspectacular performance by the U.S., who relied on a 75th minute goal from Daniel Cuevas to secure the victory.
Cuevas scored off a nice feed from striker Alonso Hernandez, who is playing in his first tournament for the U.S. Hernandez just came into the U.S. picture impressing coach Tab Ramos after after earning some first team playing time with Mexican power Monterrey. Hernandez has done well in Toulon, and may have earned a spot on the World Cup squad.
U.S. goalkeeper Cody Cropper made two outstanding saves before giving way at the break for Kendall McIntosh. Those two saves kept the U.S. level during a first half that saw the Yanks get the better of the play without putting much pressure on the Congo keeper. Cropper’s confidence should be in better shape after this solid performance, after the Southampton man had something of a nightmare in the opener against France. The only real first half chance for the Americans came on a fine solo effort from Daniel Pineda, but the Chicago Fire wingers shot was well saved.
The Americans were the better team in the second half passing the ball well, with good play from subs Hernandez and Will Trapp and some attacking forays down the right flank by 17 year Kellyn Acosta. Cuevas was inclined to try and do too much with the ball, often being dispossessed, before his big strike.
The U.S. move to third place in their five team group with this win, but remain a longshot to finish in the top two. A first or second place finish is needed to advance. Ramos likely won’t mind missing out on the knockout round, he made six changes to his starting lineup tonight, after changing five starters from game one to two.
The U20 World Cup starts on June 21 and Ramos is clearly using this event to find players for that more important tournament.
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 1 1
CGO 0 0 0
USA – Daniel Cuevas (Alonso Hernandez) 75th minute
USA: 1-Cody Cropper (12-Kendall McIntosh, 41); 15-Kellyn Acosta, 4-Caleb Stanko (capt.), 21-Javan Torre, 3-Juan Pablo Ocegueda; 8-Benji Joya, 5-Mikey Lopez; 7-Victor Pineda (13-Dillon Serna, 59), 20-Danny Garcia (6-Wil Trapp, 57), 11-Daniel Cuevas; 16-Jordan Morris (9-Alonso Hernandez, 41)
Subs Not Used: 2-Eric Miller, 10-Collin Martin, 14-Oscar Sorto, 18-Jeffrey Payeras, 19-Alfred Koroma, 24-Marlon Hairston
Head Coach: Tab Ramos
CGO: 1-Riffi Mandanda; 2-Marcel Tisserand, 4-Anthony Walongwa, 19-Chancel Mbemba, 3-Mike Cestor; 20-Jonathan Bijimine (18-Aristote Nsiala, 70), 21-Omenuke Mfulu (11-Olivier Lusamba, 57), 8-Patrick Nzuzi; 12-Clarck Nsikulu (7-Bidje Manzia, 70), 9-Hermann Kabasele, 10-Harrison Manzala
Subs Not Used: 5-Thierry Kasereka, 6-Lema Mabidi, 13, Heritier Luvumbu, 14-Ndombe Mubele, 15-Herve Ndonga, 16-Lorhim Diafuka, 17-Merveille Bope, 22-Grace Katshimuka
Head Coach: Sebastien Migne
Stats Summary: USA / CGO
Shots: 10 / 10
Shots on Goal: 3 / 5
Saves: 5 / 2
Corner Kicks: 3 / 2
Fouls: 11 / 11
Offside: 0 / 0