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U.S. SOCCER: Beasley goal gives U.S. 1-0 victory over Poland
March 31st, 2004 9:09PM

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DaMarcus Beasley scored in the 26th minute to give the United States a 1-0 victory over Poland for its first victory of 2004 and its first victory in Europe since 1998.

Beasley scored his fifth in 31 international appearances, finishing a nice combination passing play from Josh Wolff and Conor Casey, the lone player making his U.S. debut.

Ggoalkeeper Brad Friedel picked up his 24th career shutout, returning to the U.S. nets for the first time since his 2002 World Cup heroics. The victory avenged a 3-1 loss to Poland at the 2002 World Cup.

''I thought it was a good game for us today,'' said U.S. coach Bruce Arena. ''Beasley's goal was big, since the Polish team was putting us under a lot of pressure early in the game. They also put us under a lot of pressure in the last 15 minutes, and Friedel made two big saves for us. I was pleased with the way our team played. We were very composed and did a good job in the last 20 minutes to kill off the game and get the win. I also want to make a point to thank the Polish fans for treating us with such respect during the game.''

The victory marked the U.S. team's first triumph in Europe since a 3-0 win against Austria on April 22, 1998. Arena's teams had gone 0-7-1 in Europe before today's victory over Poland.

''I'm happy,'' said Arena about the win in Europe. ''We have a good team, and over the last two years we have played some very difficult teams on the road, some very difficult teams to play against. We knew we would win one of these games along the way, and we were fortunate that we were able to win today.''

GAME SUMMARY

March 31 in Plock, Poland

Poland 0 USA 1. Goal: Beasley 26.

Poland -- Dudek, Klos, Rzasa, Baszczynski (Hajto, 46), Radomski (Szymkowiak, 46), Bak, Smolarek (Gorawski, 62), Krzynowek, Rasiak (Saganowski, 46), Lewandowski (Mila, 72), Zurawski.

USA -- Friedel, Vanney, Berhalter, Mastroeni (Bocanegra, 52), Cherundolo, Klein (Sanneh, 74), Reyna, Beasley, Mathis (Zavagnin, 85), Wolff (Convey, 46), Casey.

Referee: Tommy Skjerven (Norway).

Att.: 10,500.

STATS

Shots: Poland 9, USA 4.

Saves: Poland 0, USA 3.

Corner Kicks: Poland 5, USA 3.

Fouls: Poland 9, USA 7.

Offside: Poland 3, USA 1.



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