Still hope for U.S. U-17s after second loss

[VIDEO] The USA lost its second straight game at the U-17 World Cup, falling 3-1 to Tunisia in a game that featured three penalty-kick goals. The Americans, who opened with a 4-3 loss to Tajikistan, meet Belgium in their third and final group game on Sunday (2:45 am ET, live, ESPNU & Galavision; ESPNU rebroadcast at noon ET.). A win over Belgium, which beat Tajikistan, 1-0, could enable the Americans to advance with help from other results.

Click HERE for video highlights of the U.S. U-17 loss to Tunisia.

Tunisia went up in the 8th minute on a Nour Hadhria penalty kick, which was awarded for handball. Hadhria converted again from the spot at the brink of halftime.

The Tunisians dominated throughout, although in the 90th minute Jared Jeffrey struck on a penalty kick for the USA to make it 2-1. But Tunisia responded quickly for its third goal.

"It's a hard result to swallow," said U.S. U-17 coach John Hackworth. "In the second half we did all we could, and played good, attacking soccer. We pushed as hard as we could, and you have to give Tunisia a lot of credit for defending with everything they had."

Tunisia clinched a spot in the second round with their victory against the USA. The top two teams in each of the six groups advance, along with four of the six third-place teams.

"We're going to approach our game against Belgium the same way we approached the last two games," said Hackworth. "I'm going to go scout Belgium right now and start putting together a game plan to get a result in the final group match."

GAME SUMMARY
Aug. 23, 2007 in Changwon, South Korea
Tunisia 3 USA 2

Goals: Hadhria (pen.) 8, Hadhria (pen.) 46+, Dkhil (Ben Akremi) 94+; Jeffrey (pen.) 90.

Tunisia - Dikhili, Karoui, Ifa, Jaballah, Hadhra, Sassi (Dkhil, 52), Arbi, Ayari (Ben Akremi, 79), Marzouki, Makhzoumi, Msakni (Wazani, 88) Coach: Maher Kanzari

USA - MacMath, Williams, Bates, Meyer, Klute (Ibrahim, 46), Wenzel, Jeffrey, Dominguez (Cruz, 77), McLoughlin (King, 70), 19- Nimo, Schuler. Coach: John Hackworth

Stats Summary:
TUN/USA

Shots: 14/10
Shots on goal:7/3
Saves: 2/4
Fouls: 20/9
Corner Kicks: 5/8
Offside: 0/4

Yellow cards: Tunisia -- Jaballah 4, Makhzoumi 46+, Dikhili 71, Arbi 83. USA -- Bates 65, Schuler 81, Jeffrey 83.

Referee: Hernando Buitrago (COL)

Att.: 3,115

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