Commentary

USA beats India in front of huge crowd in New Delhi

The USA opened the 2017 U-17 World Cup against one of the least formidable teams in the tournament: India, which is making its first World Cup appearance at any level. However, U.S. coach John Hackworth  was correct when he warned that opening against a pumped up home team in front of a fervent crowd could create a challenging game for the USA.

Indeed, more than 46,000 fans filled the Jawaharal Nehru Stadium in New Dehli on Friday and the USA played nervously for much of the first half, but came away with a satisfactory 3-0 win.

INDIA-USA EXPRESS
Oct. 6 in New Delhi, India
India 0 USA 3
Goals: Sargent (pen.) 30, Durkin 51, Carleton (Acosta) 84.
Att.: 46,312

Josh Sargent opens his account
Josh Sargent, the 17-year-old Silver Boot winner at the U-20 World Cup started his campaign to claim the Golden Boot at this U-17 World Cup with a goal from the penalty spot. Referee Gery Vargas awarded the penalty kick on Jitendra Singh for grabbing Sargent, who had dribbled past Singh.

Sargent's low shot into the left corner gave the USA a 1-0 lead after a half hour of struggling to penetrate the packed India defense. Blaine Ferri in the sixth minute had squandered the best early U.S. chance when he shot straight into chest of keeper Dheeraj Moirangthem.

Hackworth started four forwards, Sargent, Timothy Weah, Ayo Akinola and Andrew Carleton, with Carleton playing an attacking midfield role. But too often U.S. passes missed their target as the Americans' performance was largely incohesive until the second half after Chris Durkin gave the USA a 2-0 lead with an 11-yard shot after a corner kick clearance in the 51sth minute.

Andrew Carleton scores a key goal
India is likely to lose all three games of its group games, so padding its goal difference against the weakest Group A opponent was a key aim for the USA. In the 58th minute, Carleton delivered a precise through ball to set up Akinola with a one-on-one against keeper Moirangthem. Akinola's attempt to chip the keeper failed miserably, squandering a chance that would have likely hastened India's collapse.


Andrew Carleton

In the 84th minute, Carleton demonstrated how to finish such an opportunity. George Acosta, who replaced Akinola in the 66th minute, delivered the perfectly weighted through ball and Carleton rounded the keeper and shot low into the net.

Carleton's goal came after India's best chance of the day, a shot off the crossbar by Ali Anwar that resulted in a rare counterattack opportunity for the USA that it did not waste.

Next, a much tougher challenge
The three-goal win puts the USA in first place of Group A, thanks to a superior goal difference to Ghana, which early in the day beat Colombia, 1-0, on a 39th-minute goal by Sadiq Ibrahim. Ghana, which outshot Colombia 17-15, entered the tournament as runner-up to Mali at the 2017 Africa U-17 Cup of Nations. The USA meets Ghana on Monday, 7:30 a.m ET (FS2 & Universo).

U-17 WORLD CUP: TV schedule, standings and results

TRIVIA: Josh Sargent became the second player in U.S. history to play in the U-17 and U-20 World Cup in the same year, after Freddy Adu in 2003. Four months ago, Sargent scored four goals as the USA reached the quarterfinals U-20 World Cup.

Oct. 6 in New Delhi, India
India 0 USA 3
Goals: Sargent (pen.) 30, Durkin 51, Carleton (Acosta) 84.
India -- Moirangthem; Singh, Ali, Stalin, Wangjam (Lalengmawia, 93+); Meetei (Naorem, 70), Kiyam, Jadhav, Sarkar (Ali, 70); Thatal, Kannoly.
USA -- Garces; Gloster, Sands, Durkin, Lindsey; Carleton (Vassilev, 90+1), Ferri, Goslin; Weah, Sargent, Akinola (Acosta, 66)
Referee: Gery Vargas (Bolivia)
Att.: 46,312

Stats: India/USA
Shots: 8/19
Shots on Goal: 1/7
Saves: 4/1
Corner Kicks: 3/3
Fouls: 8/10
Offside: 0/3
Possession: 43/57

3 comments about "USA beats India in front of huge crowd in New Delhi".
  1. R2 Dad, October 6, 2017 at 3:24 p.m.

    Well done, 17s. I'm curious on everyone's thoughts on the change in our line-up on this match vs previous line-ups against Iceland:
    12- Carlos Joaquim Dos Santos; 3- Christopher Gloster (8- Blaine Ferri, 46’), 15- Charlie Asensio (Captain), 4- Tyler Shaver, 13- Akil Watts; 16- Taylor Booth, 18- Christopher Goslin, 20- Alex Mendez; 23- Ulysses Llanez, 19- Alejandro Pereira, 24- Indiana Vassilev
    Subs Not Used: 1- Justin Garces, 2- Jaylin Lindsey, 5- Arturo Vasquez, 6- Christopher Durkin, 7- Timothy Weah, 9- Joshua Sargent, 10- George Acosta, 11- Andrew Carleton, 14- James Sands, 17- Jacobo Reyes
    ... Japan:
    1- Justin Garces, 2- Jaylin Lindsey, 14- James Sands, 4- Tyler Shaver (18- Christopher Goslin, 62’), 3- Christopher Gloster; 6- Christopher Durkin, 8- Blaine Ferri (23- Ulysses Llanez, 62’), 17- Jacobo Reyes, 7- Timothy Weah, 9- Joshua Sargent (10- George Acosta, 2’) (24- Indiana Vassilev, 73’),11- Andrew Carleton
    Subs Not Used: 12- Carlos Joaquim Dos Santos, 13- Akil Watts, 15- Charlie Asensio, 16- Taylor Booth, 19- Alejandro Pereira, 20- Alex Mendez
    ...and Russia:
    12- Carlos Joaquim Dos Santos; 24- Indiana Vassilev (2- Jaylin Lindsey, 72’), 15- Charlie Asensio, 14- James Sands (Captain) (6- Christopher Durkin, 46’), 13- Akil Watts; 16- Taylor Booth, 18- Christopher Goslin (10- George Acosta, 65’), 20- Alex Mendez; 23- Ulysses Llanez, 19- Alejandro Pereira, 17- Jacobo Reyes

    Subs Not Used: 1- Justin Garces, 3- Christopher Gloster, 4- Tyler Shaver, 5- Arturo Vasquez, 7- Timothy Weah, 8- Blaine Ferri, 9- Joshua Sargent, 11- Andrew Carleton
    ....given the line-up against Mexico (our biggest rival):
    1-Justin Garces; 2-Jaylin Lindsey, 4-James Sands, 5-Arturo Vasquez, 3-Chris Gloster; 8-Blaine Ferri (17-Bryan Reynolds, 80), 6-Chris Durkin, 14-Chris Goslin, 7-Ayo Akinola (19-Tim Weah, 56), 9-Josh Sargent (capt.), 11-Andrew Carleton (13-Akil Watts, 86)
    Subs not used: 10-George Acosta, 12-Carlos Dos Santos, 15-Zyen Jones, 16-Taylor Booth, 18-Indiana Vassilev, 20-Adrian Villegas

    Thoughts?

  2. don Lamb replied, October 7, 2017 at 7:52 p.m.

    The Russia/Hungary/Japan/Iceland games were four games in five days, so Hackworth had to use two separate lineups to play two games each since there was no recovery time between games. Those games also featured some tinkering with a 352, apparently.

    The lineup in the Mexico game was his first choice lineup, which is why that lineup was so similar to the India game. The big surprise there was starting both Akinola and Weah, which put Carleton in a central position. The change that brought Acosta into the middle and shifted Carleton out to the wing to replace Akinola Really allowed the US to take advantage of a more open game.

    The other current issue is the injury to Vasquez, a starting center back. That forced Durkin to play in the back instead of as a 6. I expect Durkin to move back into the midfield with Shaver (coming off an injury himself) stepping into the back line now that the games will get much more challenging than what India presented. That pushes Goslin up as an 8, Ferri (or potentially Acosta) as the 10, and carleton wide where he is arguably more potent at this level. So, the big question then is, who sits: Weah or Akinola? History would suggest Weah, but recent form would suggest Akinola.

  3. Fire Paul Gardner Now, October 6, 2017 at 4:44 p.m.

    Good start but the real challenges await in the next two games.

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