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Villarreal goal gives USA group title
by Paul Kennedy, February 22nd, 2013 8:42PM



[CONCACAF UNDER-20 CHAMPIONSHIP] Jose Villarreal's goal on a leaping header in the 63rd minute gave the USA a 1-0 win over Costa Rica. The victory clinched first place for the USA, which moves into Tuesday's all-important quarterfinals.

Villarreal scored on one of the USA's few decent chances of the evening when he leaped high to head home Luis Gil's corner kick.

It was, nonetheless, a much better effort by Tab Ramos' Americans.

Ramos made four changes from the first game, starting outside backs Eric Miller and Juan Pablo Ocegueda ahead of Boyd Okwuonu and Javan Torre. Midfielders Mikey Lopez and Danny Garcia also earned their first starts in the tournament in place of Mario Rodriguez and Daniel Cuevas, the star of the 2-1 win over Haiti.

The Ticos also equalized in the 66th minute when Mayron George held off Okwuonu, a halftime sub for the injured Miller, and ripped a low shot from the top of the area that goalie Cody Cropper parried wide.

Wil Trapp picked up a yellow card in the first half and was replaced by Rodriguez. Lopez's yellow card was his second in two games and means he'll miss Tuesday's game.

Costa Rica went into the game assured of finishing second.

Canada beat Nicaragua 5-1, which means the Canadians will face the USA in a quarterfinal on Tuesday. Cuba, which won the Group B title, faces Costa Rica.

Feb. 22 in Puebla
USA 1 Costa Rica 0. Goal: Villarreal 63.
USA -- Cropper; Miller (Okwuonu, 46), Stanko, O'Neill, Ocegueda; Trapp (Rodriguez, 46), Lopez, Joya, Gil, Garcia (Kiesewetter 90); Villarreal.
Costa Rica -- Monge; Ordain,  Fernandez, Cabalceta, Nunez, Sequeira (Flores, 82), Ruiz, Mora (Ramirez 46), F.Garita (R.Garita, 54), George, Cantillano.

  1. Peter Skouras
    commented on: February 23, 2013 at 7:24 a.m.
    Fantastic "Goal" by Villareal! Congrats US! Much better!
  1. Kerry Ogden
    commented on: February 25, 2013 at 8:53 a.m.
    What a well played game by the U-20 men. It's too bad that the senior Team couldn't play this well!
  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: February 25, 2013 at 9:01 a.m.
    USA, Canada, Mexico should move on. Panama vs El Salvador will be the game to watch.

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