[U-20 WORLD CUP]
The USA rebounded from its 4-1 opening loss to Spain to tie another European power, France, 1-1, and keep its hopes alive of reaching the knockout
stage of the U-20 World Cup in Turkey despite failing to convert a penalty kick.
France, which opened with a 3-1 win over Ghana, tested U.S. keeper Cody Cropper
in the first half -- a Yaya Sanogo
volley from 14 yards that Cropper punched over the crossbar.
The French had most of the possession, but the Americans had two chances in
first-half stoppage time: a poorly struck header by Jose Villarreal
and a low shot from Luis Gil
that keeper Alphonse Areola
handled with little difficulty.
France took the lead with Sanogo penalty kick two minutes into the second half. Central defender Javan Torre
, who had struggled badly against Spain, was looking much more
composed on Monday before the clumsy foul on Dimitri Foulquier
right on the penalty-area edge. Mario Lemina
clipped U.S. striker Mario
’s ankle for the penalty kick that Gil squandered in the 65th minute. Jean Cristophe Bahebeck
hammered a 20-yard shot off the crossbar a minute later.
Rodriguez was also the American fouled for the 85th minute free kick that led to Daniel Cuevas
’ clutch goal. Gil, who had shot so weakly from the spot, cleverly delivered a sharp
low pass into the penalty area instead of lofting the free kick amid the tall French defenders. The pass struck Lucas Digne
and popped up for Cuevas -- who entered the game seven
minutes earlier -- to volley hard and low into the far corner from seven yards out.
Prior to the game, U.S. coach Tab Ramos
warned his players about playmaker
, who played 27 Italian Serie A and eight Champions League games for Juventus last season.
“We knew that Pogba had over a hundred touches in the last game
and we wanted to limit that,” Ramos said. “I think we did that. We did a pretty good job of limiting him.”
Midfielder Benji Joya
received his second
yellow card of the tournament after tangling with Pogba late in the game and both are suspended for the final Group A games. June 24 in Istanbul
USA 1 France 1 Goals:
Cuevas 85; Sanogo (pen.) 48. USA --
Cropper; Yedlin, O'Neill, Torre, Ocegueda; Joya (Lopez, 88), Trapp; Villarreal
(Cuevas, 77), Gil, Rodriguez; Hernandez (Sorto, 46). France --
Areola; Foulquier, Umtiti, Pogba, Kondogbia, Sanogo, Bahebeck (Veretout, 74), Digne, Lemina, Sarr, Thauvin
(Ngando, 46). Yellow Cards:
USA -- Sorto 62, Joya 83; France -- Umtiti 79, Pogba 83, Sarr 84. Referee:
Carlos Vera (Ecuador)