May 28, 2013
U.S. U-20's fall to host France at Toulon Tournament
TOULON, France -- The U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team opened Group A play of the Under-21 Toulon Tournament with a 4-1 loss to host France at Stade Léo Lagrange on Tuesday.
Benji Joya scored the Americans' lone goal in the second half.
Head coach Tab Ramos is using this event to prepare for the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey.
Next up for the U-20s is a match with Colombia at 5:30 p.m. local (11:30 a.m. ET) on Thursday at Stade des Costieres in Nimes, France. Earlier on Tuesday, Colombia posted a 1-0 victory against Korea Republic.
Games at the Toulon Tournament feature two 40-minute halves instead of the standard 45.
France controlled the first half by earning the game's first five shots and several corner kick opportunities. It wasn't until the 30th minute before the U.S. flirted with a goal as midfielder Wil Trapp stepped up from about 24 yards out and sent his low shot just wide left of the net.
The French struck twice as Alexandre Coeff scored a backheel goal off of a Valentin Eysseric free kick for a 1-0 lead in the 38th minute. Two minutes later, U.S. goalkeeper Cody Cropper initially appeared to have done enough to stop a long-distance strike from Gianelli Imbula Wanga, but the ball trickled over the goal line to give France a 2-0 halftime lead.
Joya got the U.S. on the scoresheet in the 72nd minute as he drove his free kick past France's wall and into the right side of the net.
France pulled away when substitute Stephane Bahoken responded only one minute after he entered the match, whipping his right-footed shot past Cropper for a 3-1 advantage in the 77th minute. Rachid Ghezzal capped off the scoring in the third minute of stoppage time.