October 17, 2015
OFF ON THE WRONG FOOT
U.S. men stumble in U-17 World Cup opener to Nigeria, 2-0
SANTIAGO, Chile. -- It doesn't seem to matter which age level, the U.S. men's soccer program is not having a very good October. After the recent failure of the senior team to advance to the Confederations Cup, and the U-23s to qualify for the Olympics,
The U.S. Under-17 men began the FIFA U-17 World Cup on the wrong foot, dropping a 2-0 decision to Nigeria in both teams' opening match of the competition Saturday.
The Americans finished the match with 10 men after Auston Trusty was red carded in the 87th minute.
The match was scoreless for the opening 49 minutes of until Chukwudi Agor broke the tie with a goal in the 50th minute and then assisted on Victor Osimhen's score 11 minutes later.
On the first goal, the USA defense dropped deep as Nigeria attacked from the right. As John Lazarus reached the edge of the box on the right he centered a cross. Trusty stepped to it to clear it away, but mishit his clearance and the ball trickled across the box, where Agor ran onto it and blasted in the first goal of the game.
In the 61st minute, Agor won a header off a short USA goal kick. He passed it up to Osimhen, who took couple of controlling touches and to get around the backpedaling USA defenders at the top of the box. Osimhen fired a left-footed shot from 14 yards, which found the lower right corner of the goal and put the Nigerians up, 2-0.
The Americans had opportunities in the first half, producing some good chances down the left side where Christian Pulisic played the architect. The best came early, when in the 13th minute, Pulisic whipped in a cross from the left that Haji Wright hit over the bar from close range.
The USAwill look to bounce back in its second group game at Estadio Sausalito in Vina del Mar against Croatia Tuesday.
Tuesday's match will kick off at 4 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 2 and NBC Universo.
USA: 1-Will Pulisic; 2-Matthew Olosunde (18-Tyler Adams, 67), 4-Auston Trusty, 5-Hugo Arellano (capt.), 3-John Nelson; 20-Alejandro Zendejas, 6-Eric Calvillo, 11-Josh Perez; 7-Haji Wright (8-Luca de la Torre, 64), 9-Joe Gallardo (17-Pierre da Silva, 83), 10-Christian Pulisic
Subs Not Used: 12-Kevin Silva, 13-Alexis Velela, 14-Tanner Dieterich, 15-Danny Barbir, 16-Tommy McCabe, 19-Brandon Vazquez, 21-Eric Lopez
Head Coach: Richie Williams
NGA: 1-Akpan Udoh; 2-John Lazarus, 4-David Enogela, 5-Lukman Zakari, 7-Funsho Bamgboye (8-Samuel Chukwueze, 81); 9-Victor Osimhen (20-Orji Okwonkwo, 90+3), 10-Kelechi Nwakali (capt.), 12-Chukwudi Agor (6-Kingsley Michael, 61), 14-Ejike Ikwu; 15-Udochukwu Anumudu, 17-Osinachi Ebere
Subs Not Used: 3-Tobechukwu Ibe, 11-Chinedu Madueke, 13-Joel Osikel, 16-Amos Benjamin, 18-Edidiong Essien, 19-Sunday Alimi, 21-Chisom Chiaha
Head Coach: Emmanuel Amunike
Stats Summary: USA / NGA
Shots: 5 / 19
Shots on Goal: 0 / 6
Saves: 4 / 0
Corner Kicks: 7 / 8
Offside: 0 / 3
Fouls: 12 / 13
USA - Auston Trusty (ejection) 87th minute
USA - Alejandro Zendejas (caution) 90+3
Referee: Deniz Aytekin (GER)
Assistant Referee: Guido Kleve (GER)
Assistant Referee: Markus Haecker (GER)
4th official: Martin Strombergsson (SWE)