Hill's Last-Minute Goal Sends U.S. Under-20s To Victory Over Egypt
March 22, 2005
Two Bruins scored for the U.S. Under-20 National Team in a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over Egypt in the opening match of the Suwon International Youth Football Tournament at Suwon World Cup Stadium in Suwon, South Korea. UCLA freshman Kamani Hill was the hero, as the second-half substitute buried a breakaway in the final moments of the game to give the U.S. the win.
The U.S. will next face South Korea on Thursday, March 24 at 7 p.m. local time (5 a.m. ET) at Suwon World Cup Stadium. South Korea defeated Egypt 1-0 this evening following the U.S.-Argentina match.
Argentina got on the board first, putting away their first opportunity on goal in the eighth minute. Working down the left flank, Mauro Boselli lifted a ball over the U.S. backline to a streaking Emiliano Armenteros along the sideline. Armenteros didn't take the time to settle the ball, hitting an early cross into the top of the penalty area as both Jose Luis Garcia and Martin Fabro were unmarked at the far post. U.S. defender Hunter Freeman hustled back and lunged for the cross, just missing it as it fell to Fabro, who took a settling touch before burying it past Quentin Westberg into the left side of the net.
The U.S. found the equalizer in the 19th minute off a good individual effort by former Bruin Chad Barrett on a corner kick. Will John curled in a ball to the top of the six-yard box and Argentina goalkeeper Nereo Champagne reached over the head of Barrett to snag the service, but lost the handle and it hit Barrett in the head before dropping right in front of the U.S. striker. As Barrett fell to the ground he cracked the loose ball into the open net before a defender could come over to clear it out.
'We really wanted to get a goal because we were already behind at that point,' Barrett said. 'It was a good cross from Will (John), and I just challenged the 'keeper. I didn't know what was going to happen, but luckily he dropped the ball. I felt it hit my head, and as soon as I landed I looked around to see what happened. As I fell over I just kicked it in.'
After a barrage of shots from Argentina throughout much of the second half, the U.S. finally earned the victory in the first minute of extra time when Greg Dalby headed an Argentina clearance upfield from midfield. Brad Evans flicked it on 30 yards from goal, splitting two Argentina defenders and allowing Hill to race in for a breakaway. The UCLA forward held off Jonathan Maidana racing back to defend and then calmly buried his shot low past the 'keeper for the victory.
'Brad (Evans) got a great flick that split the defense,' Hill described. 'I ran onto it, and the `keeper came out. I think the first thing that came to my mind was I wanted to put it over the `keeper's head. And then I figured I've been working on just keeping it simple, so the easiest thing was to just pass it to the 'keeper's left.'
Also contributing to the U.S. victory was team captain and UCLA sophomore Patrick Ianni, who started and played the entire game. Bruin sophomore Benny Feilhaber also started and played 66 minutes. Ianni, Feilhaber, Barrett, Hill and freshman Marvell Wynne are all vying for consideration for the final World Youth Championships roster. Among the teams the U.S. will face in group play at the Championships June 10-July 2 are Argentina and Egypt, who are grouped with the U.S. at the Suwon Tournament as well.
With the victory, U.S. Under-20 head coach and former UCLA head coach Sigi Schmid increased his undefeated international record to 8-0-0 since taking over the national team in late October of last year. In those eight matches, the U.S. has scored 18 goals, while only allowing three against.
'I'm pleased that we won the game, but we are definitely going to have to play better than we played tonight as we move on in this tournament and as we continue to prepare for the World Championship,' said Schmid. 'Even though we didn't play well for periods of time I think we showed we have good character, attitude and a great fighting spirit to come away victorious. In our next match against Korea though, we will certainly have to play better.'
Information courtesy U.S. Soccer