A 2-0 win over Belgium in its third and final first-round was enough to send the USA to the second round of the U-17 World Cup despite having lost its first two games, to
Tajikistan and Tunisia. The USA, which got goals through Kirk Urso
and Mykell Bates
, faces Germany in the round of 16 on Thursday. The Americans played with a man
advantage for 54 minutes after Belgium's Christian Benteke
was red-carded for a high slide tackle on Sheanon Williams.
The Americans finished
second at the group thanks to Tunisia's win over Tajikistan, which put the USA, Tajikistan and Belgium in a three-way tie with three points each. The USA edged Tajikistan on goals-scored and
Belgium on goal difference.
for USA-Belgium video highlights.
The U.S. win over Belgium marked its first shutout at
the U-17 World Cup since a 1-0 win over Uruguay.
Second-half substitute Urso, making his first appearance in the tournament, opened the scoring in the 63rd minute.
Garza took a shot at the top of the box that deflected off of a defender and bounced high into the box to Urso, who took a touch to bring the ball down and then hit a hard shot that Belgian keeper Jo
Coppens got a piece of but couldn't keep out of the goal.
U.S. captain Mykell Bates scored his second goal of the tournament seven minutes later on a header from a Garza corner
"We're very happy, and we've accomplished our first goal, which was to get out of our group," said U.S. U-17 coach John Hackworth. "We had moments in our
two previous games that were pretty good, but we didn't do well for 90 minutes in those games. Today we stuck to our game plan throughout and didn't get rattled by anything."
GAME SUMMARY Aug. 26 in Cheonan, South Korea
USA 2 Belgium 0.
Urso (Jeffrey) 63, Bates (Garza) 71.
Lambo, Williams, Bates, Zimmerman (Ibrahim, 60), Wenzel (Urso, 46), Jeffrey, Garza, Nimo (Dominguez, 93+), Schuler, McLoughlin.
Coach: John Hackworth
Coppens, Daeseleire, Hustinx (Geurden, 68), Phiri, DePauw, Hazard, Kis (Francois, 46), Ngombo, De Castris, Aquino Zevne, 62), Benteke.
Coach: Bob Browaeys Stats: USA/BEL
Shots on goal: 12/3
Corner Kicks: 8/5
Offside: 1/1 Yellow
USA -- Zimmerman 35, Schuler 40, Meyer 48+, Red cards:
Belgium -- Benteke (sent off) 36. Referee:
Salvio Fagundes Filho