[UNDER-17 WORLD CUP] Alex Shinsky's goal on a volley that slipped through the hands and legs of Malawi goalie Cuthbert Seengwa and trickled across the line was all the United States could muster, but it was enough to beat a weak Malawi team, 1-0, Thursday at the Under-17 World Cup in Kano, Nigeria.
The play that led to the goal began when Luis Gil stabbed at the ball in the
air with the back of his foot, laying it off for Marlon Duran, who hit a hard shot
from a tight angle that Seengwa saved well. The rebound came to Shinsky
in the middle of the penalty area. Shinsky's volley went straight to
Seengwa, who couldn't hold on to the ball.
U.S. coach Wilmer Cabrera made
two changes to his starting lineup. Eriq Zavaleta replaced captain Perry Kitchen on defense, while
forward Stefan Jerome was
replaced up top by Victor Chavez,
as they did to start the second half of the 2-1 loss to Spain. Both new
starters were second-half substitutes in the first game against Spain.
The Americans had a huge edge in possession, especially in the second
half when they effectively slowed the game down in the afternoon heat
of Kano, but they couldn't add a second goal.
Playing in their first U-17 World Cup, Malawi's Young Flames were shut
out for the second game in a row. They were called for offside 18 times
against the USA.
"Today was a tough game," said Cabrera. "We were both motivated teams
on the field. The
United States' record against African teams isn't so good, but today we
moved the ball and worked hard and we got the goal we needed. Now, we
have a chance to move to the next stage, and we have to focus on UAE
because that is a very important game."
The USA travels to Ijebu Ode for its final group game against the
United Arab Emirates on Sunday. The UAE beat Malawi, 2-0, but fell to
Spain, 3-1, in Thursday's second game in Kano.
A win will assure the USA of a berth in the second round. A tie will
only give the USA third place in the group (the UAE has the edge in
A tie will also ensure the USA advancement
to the second round as one of the four third-place teams.
Oct. 26 in Kano
USA 1 Malawi 0. Goal: Shinsky
USA -- Edwards, Herold,
Zavaleta, Watts (Okwuonu, 87), Polak, Duran, Gil,
Palodichuk, Shinsky (Martinez, 66), Chavez (Craven, 54),
Malawi -- Seengwa, Zonda,
Mselema, Kaipa, Mulimbika, Issah (Chirwa, 63),
Kaziputa, Hanganda, Chitsulo (Mpetiwa, 75), Milanzi, Mwanyongo
Yellow Cards: USA -- McInerney 18; Malawi -- Hanganda 57
Referee: Massimo Buscacca