U.S. Soccer Team Falls To Egypt, 2-0, At World Youth Championships

June 27, 2001

Buenos Aires, Argentina - The United States Under-20 Men's National Team dominated play for the majority of the second half but were unable to score and gave up a penalty kick goal and a late tally to fall 2-0 to Egypt at the Esatdio Jose Amalfitani in Beunos Aires, Argentina. With the loss, the United States is eliminated from the 2001 FIFA World Youth Championship.

UCLA sophomore DJ Countess shined in goal again for the United States and kept the match tied at the half with six first-half saves, including a 20th-minute save of a Gamal Hamza penalty kick. But the United States were unable capitalize on Countess' fine play, and the Americans failed to convert after creating several fine scoring chances in the second half.

Brad Davis was whistled for a hand ball in the box in the 76th minute, and Wael Reyad squeezed the ensuing penalty kick just past a diving Countess. After being reduced to ten men when Kelly Gray was shown his second yellow card in the 84th minute, Mohamed El Yamany beat the offside trap and scored all alone on Countess in the 88th minute to seal the victory.

'I am not at all disappointed with our performance,' U.S. head coach Wolfgang Suhnholz said after the match. 'But I am very disappointed with the result. I thought we were all over them for most of the second half, and then a silly mistake changes the whole game.'

Landon Donovan played much more of an offensive role for the U.S. in the loss, and his sublime passing split the Egypt defense and put his teammates and himself in dangerous spaces in the second half. But the U.S. was snakebit on the afternoon and were not able to punch one in.

The U.S. created two good chances late in the first half, but Bobby Convey's volley was cleared by a sliding defender at the back post. The best chance of the half for the U.S. came in extra time, when Donovan found Oguchi Onyewu with a free kick, and Onyewu headed the ball across the goal to DaMarcus Beasley. The Chicago Fire midfielder's shot went high over the bar.

Beasley created a chance for Casey in the second half with a pair of deft moves on the goalline, but Casey's shot from 11 yards out was blocked high by a sliding defender. Alecko Eskandarian also had a chance to put the U.S. ahead in the second half, but his shot after a set up from Casey whistled wide right of the goal.

The USA was unlucky on the offensive end, and their bad luck carried to the other end of the field in the 76th minute, when Sorin Copodean whistled Davis for a hand ball in the box. A long Egypt cross came across the box, and Davis tracking back on the left side attempted to trap the abll with his chest, but his arm caught the ball. Reyad stepped to the penalty spot and hit a well-struck shot to the right side of the net and just past a diving Countess.

As the United States pressed forward for an equalizer, the Egypt defense bent, but would not break. The USA's fortunes turned took a turn for the worse in the 84th minute when Kelly Gray was shown his second caution of the match. With Gray gone and the U.S. reduced to 10 men, Egypt took advantage of the pressing Americans, and Mohamed El Yamany latched on to a through ball and walked in on Countess and finished the scoring in the match.

The United States would not have been in the match in the first half without the heroics of Countess. After he was whistled for a yellow card and Egypt awarded a penalty kick in the 19th minute, Countess stepped to the challenge and saved Hamza's shot that was headed into the bottom left corner of the net.

Countess came back to make three superb saves in a two-minute span. He made two difficult saves inside of nine yards in the 42nd minute, before stopping Hamza from inside the six- yard box one minute later.

Scoring Summary:
EGY - Wael Reyad (penalty kick), 76.
EGY - Mohamed El Yamany, 88.

STARTING LINEUPS (substitutes not listed):
USA - 1- DJ Countess, 3-Oguchi Onyewu, 5- Alex Yi, 4- Nelson Akwari (capt.), 12-Ricky Lewis, 15-Brian Carroll, 6-Kelly Gray, 7-DaMarcus Beasley, 11-Bobby Convey, 10-Landon Donovan, 16-Conor Casey.

EGY - 1-Mohamed Sobhi, 14-Hossam Ghali, 5-Mahmoud, 6-Mohamed El Atrawi, 3-Abou El Magd, 7-Mohamed Shawky, 8-Wael Reyad, 9-Reda Shehata (capt.), 15-Ahmed Moslem, 11-Mohamed El Yamany, 16-Gamal Hamza.

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