The U.S. Under-20 national team advanced to the finals of CONCACAF U-20 Championship yesterday with a penalty shootout win over hosts Trinidad and Tobago.
Without the suspended Jorge Flores and Brek Shea, Anthony Wallace and Danny Cruz slotted back into the starting lineup.
They couldn't help conjure a goal, however, and after 120 minutes of scoreless action, the game went to penalties. Thanks to two saves from Brian Perk and goals from Jared Jeffrey, Dilly Duka, Kyle Davies, and Wallace, the U.S. took the PKs 5-4.
"The host country made it very
hard for us in a game that could have gone either way but in the end
our goalkeeper made the difference for us tonight," said U.S. Under-20
MNT head coach Thomas Rongen. "He came up with two excellent saves on
two penalties for us to win it. I have to give Trinidad & Tobago a
lot of credit for playing us straight up and trying to win the game
just like we did over 120 minutes."
In the other semifinal match, Costa Rica dispatched Honduras 4-2 on penalties after a scoreless draw. The U.S. will now face Costa Rica Sunday in the final, in search of its first ever CONCACAF U-20 title.
By finishing atop its group, the USA side has already qualified for the U-20 World Cup in Egypt this summer. The squad has now gone 10 matches without a defeat and six without conceding.
24-Brian Perk; 4-Sheanon Williams (5-Aaron Maund, 90+), 22-Gale
Agbossoumonde, 2-Kyle Davies (capt.), 3-Anthony Wallace; 15-Brian
Ownby, 8-Jared Jeffrey, 10-Dilly Duka, 7-Danny Cruz (16-Billy Schuler,
77); 9-Peri Marosevic, 13-Tony Taylor (6-Amobi Okugo, 68)
Subs not used: 1-Sean Johnson, 18-Josh Lambo, 12-Bryan Arguez,
Subs not available: 11-Jorge Flores, 23-Brek Shea
Head coach: Thomas Rongen
1-Glenroy Samuel, 3-Curtis Gonzales (15-Uriah Bentic, 90+), 4-Sheldon
Bateu, 5-Akeem Davis, 6-Leston Paul, 8-Sean de Silva, 9-Juma Clarence
(10-Daniel Joseph, 69), 11-Trent Lougheed (19-Qian Grosvenor, 50),
12-Robert Primus, 14-Jean Luc Rochford,17-Nicholas Walker
Subs not used: 2-Aubrey David, 13-Marvin Manswell, 20-Andres Marchan
Subs not available: 7-Kebin Molino, 18-Daniel Cyrus
Head Coach: Zoran Vranes