[USA-SPAIN] In its U-20 World Cup opener, the USA nearly matched Spain in ball possession and attacked as much as the Spaniards did, but the Americans were blown away by the Real Madrid-Barcelona frontline duo of Gerard Deulofeu and Jese in a 4-1 loss on Friday in Istanbul.
Five minutes after kickoff, Deulofeu eluded Javan Torre near on the right wing and delivered a cross to Jese, who escaped the marking of DeAndre Yedlin and stroked the ball past keeper Cody Cropper.
The Americans should have equalized in the 13th minute when Luis Gil chipped a pass that left Alonso Hernandez with only keeper Daniel Sotres to beat near the penalty spot, but Hernandez shot wide of the goal.
Despite having 51 percent of the possession at halftime, Coach Tab Ramos’ team entered the locker room with a 3-0 deficit. Deulofeu had curled a 20-yard shot into the far corner in the 42nd minute and Jese scored from 11 yards in the 44th after Javier Manquillo blew past Torre to set up the strike.
Missing the Colorado Rapids’ Shane O’Neill -- for a red card in the Concacaf championship final -- the central defense of Torre and Caleb Stanko continued to look vulnerable in the second half and was left in the dust when Deulofeu scored Spain’s fourth in the 61st minute.
Gil provided consolation for the Americans in the 77th minute with a 24-yard left-footed shot into the top right corner after faking out Jose Campana.
Deulofeu has scored 27 goals in 67 games for Barcelona’s reserve team in the second division and has a pair of appearances in both La Liga and the Champions League. Jese has one La Liga appearance for Real Madrid and 22 goals in 38 second division games.
Their marksmanship proved the difference on Friday, when the Americans outshot the Spaniards, 13-12, but only put five on frame to Spain’s nine. Spain finished with a 54-46 edge in possesion.
On Monday, the USA faces France, which opened with a 3-1 win over Ghana.
June 21 in Istanbul
USA 1 Spain 4
Goals: Gil 77; Jese 5, Deulofeu 42, Jese 44, Deulofeu 61.
USA -- Cropper; Yedlin, Stanko, Javan Torre, Ocegueda; Joya, Trapp; Garcia (Cuevas, 56), Gil, Villarreal (Lopez, 72); Hernandez (Rodriguez, 46).
Spain -- Sotres; Manquillo, Derik (Llorente, 74), Puerto, Campana (Ruben, 70), Suso, Jese (Paco Alcacer, 76), Juan Bernat, Saul, Oliver, Gerard Deulofeu.
Yellow cards: USA -- Villarreal 64, Ocegueda 87, Lopez 90+2; Manquillo 20, Puerto 52.
Referee: Bakary Gassama (Gambia).
Game highlights ...