An 85th minute goal from substitute Daniel Cuevas gave the United States U20’s a 1-1 tie with France and kept the Americans World Cup hopes alive.
Tab Ramos had his team come out in a more defensive posture than the high pressing strategy they employed in their 4-1 loss to Spain in their opening match.
The American defense was burned by Spanish counter attacks, so Ramos tightened up at the back and made a couple of changes. Not surprisingly Colorado Rapids midfielder Shane O’Neill, ineligible versus Spain came in at center back. What was surprising though, was the man he replaced, captain Caleb Stanko.
Javan Torre had a nightmare against the dynamic Spain attack, but Ramos stayed with the UCLA freshman because he liked his size and strength against the physical French squad.
Torre and Juan Pablo Ocegueda, who also struggled mightily against Spain, both were much improved against the more direct French. But France were still troubling the U.S. Juventus starting midfielder and former Manchester United man Paul Pogba was a handful as was forward Ya Ya Sanogo, said to an Arsenal target.
Torre was unlucky when the rash tackle on Sanogo was called a penalty, although the foul took place just outside the box. The Americans were facing elimination with a loss, but they got a chance to pull level when Mario Rodriguez earned a pk in the 65th minute. The penalty came off of one the many good runs made by Rodriguez, his direct style proving effective.
Less effective, though was Luis Gil’s penalty kick. His tame effort was easily parried and the U.S. seemed headed for elimination. Then Rodriguez was fouled again, this time just outside the box. Gil played a short ball along the ground. Cuevas pounced on the loose ball and poked the ball into the French goal. Now the U.S head into Thursday’s match with Ghana with a chance to move on to the next round. The U.S. were eliminated by Ghana from the 2010 and 2006 World Cup’s, so a little revenge could be on the cards.
Match: U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team vs. France
Date: June 24, 2013
Competition: 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup – Group A
Venue: Ali Sami Yen Arena; Istanbul, Turkey
Kickoff: 11 a.m. ET
Weather: 86 degrees, clear
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 1 1
FRA 0 1 1
FRA – Yaya Sanogo (penalty kick) 48th minute
USA – Daniel Cuevas 77
USA: 1-Cody Cropper; 2-DeAndre Yedlin, 5-Shane O’Neill, 14-Javan Torre, 3-Juan Pablo Ocegueda; 8-Benji Joya (15-Mikey Lopez, 88), 6-Wil Trapp (capt.); 11-Jose Villarreal (20-Daniel Cuevas, 77), 10-Luis Gil, 9-Mario Rodriguez; 19-Alonso Hernandez (18-Oscar Sorto, 46)
Subs Not Used: 4-Caleb Stanko, 7-Victor Pineda, 12-Kendall McIntosh, 13-Eric Miller, 16-Kellyn Acosta, 21-Zack Steffen
Unavailable: 17-Danny Garcia (injury)
Head Coach: Tab Ramos
FRA: 1-Alphonse Areola; 2-Dimitri Foulquier, 5-Samuel Umtiti, 6-Paul Pogba (capt.), 8-Geoffrey Kondogbia, 9-Yaya Sanogo, 11-Jean Christophe Bahebeck (17-Jordan Veretout, 74), 12-Lucas Digne, 13-Mario Lemina, 14-Mouhamadou Sarr, 20-Florian Thauvin (10-Axel Ngando, 46)
Subs Not Used: 3-Pierre Yves Polomat, 4-Kurt Zouma, 7-Thibaut Vion, 15-Alexy Bosetti, 16-Maxime Dupe, 18-Youssouf Sabaly, 19-Christopher Jullien, 21-Paul Charruau
Head Coach: Pierre Mankowski
Stats Summary: USA / FRA
Shots: 8 / 12
Shots on Goal: 6 / 5
Saves: 4 / 5
Corner Kicks: 8 / 4
Fouls: 22 / 20
Offside: 3 / 1