U-17 MNT BATTLES PORTUGAL TO 1-1 DRAW IN 2018 NIKE INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLIES OPENER
Opportunistic Goal from Griffin Yow Gives USA Opening Lead, but Portugal Nets Late Equalizer; USA Takes on Turkey in Second Match on Fri., Nov. 30 at 6:30 p.m. ET
LAKEWOOD RANCH, Fla. (Nov. 28, 2018)-The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team drew Portugal 1-1 in its first matchof the 2018 Nike International Friendlies. A back-and-forth affair for 90 minutes, opportunistic play from Griffin Yow on the high press gave the U.S. the lead in the 36th minute, but a field-stretching service and perfect final pass from Portugal equalized the game late. The teams are now tied for second at the Friendlies behind Brazil, who won the day’s first game 1-0 over Turkey.
The USA took the initiative in the early-going, pressuring Portugal high, but the Europeans proved dangerous in transition. While the U.S. held most of the possession and showcased some strong build-up at the start, Portugal fired off the first dangerous chances and goalkeeper Damian Las and the U.S. back line were called into action to keep the game scoreless. Defender Adam Armour was forced to make a goal-line clearance in just the sixth minute as Rafael Brito fed a number of balls into the box and the Portuguese threatened on several set-pieces.
As the half wore on, Portugal stepped up its own pressure, but Las and the defense held strong. The tide turned in the 36th minute, when Daniel Rodrigues put too much on a pass back to the Portuguese back line and forward Griffin Yow jumped on the mistake, slotting it home for the game’s opening goal. Yow continued to be dangerous as the half wore on, quick to pressure the Portuguese defense and creating chances in the box.
The end-to-end action continued in the second half. Midfielder Giovanni Reyna pulled off some impressive dribbles to spark the U.S. attack, but the U-17s were unable to extend their lead as the game wore on. While the USA defense held strong for most of the half, a flood of Portuguese subs provided fresh legs and helped find the breakthrough in the 81st minute. Beating his man down the left wing, Gerson Sousa played a perfect ball in to Tiago Tomas near the goal line and he slid to send the ball to the back of the net and equalize.
The USA had a last-gasp effort in the fourth minute of stoppage time, when a long ball from Las bounced past the Portugal defense and found Reyna on the run. He ripped at goal, but Portuguese goalkeeper Samuel Soares saved it and the U.S. wasn’t able to put a follow-up attempt on-frame.
Up next, the U-17s continue the Nike International Friendlies on Friday, Nov. 30 against Turkey at 6:30 p.m. ET (ussoccer.com , Facebook, YouTube). Portugal will take on Brazil in the first game of the day at 3:30 p.m. ET (ussoccer.com , Facebook, YouTube).
2018 Nike International Friendlies Standings
Goal Scoring Rundown
USA – Griffin Yow, 36th minute: As Portugal attempted to build-out possession after stopping a U.S. attack, Daniel Rodrigues played back to the defense to restart things. But the midfielder was too hard with his ball to Tomas Araujo, whose first touch went awry. Yow pounced on the mistake. As the Portugal goalkeeper rushed towards the ball, Yow slotted it one-time to the left post to give the USA the opening lead. USA 1, POR 0
POR – Tiago Tomas, (Gerson Sousa), 81st minute: Portugal’s left center back launched a long ball downfield, and Gerson Sousa beat his marking defender by a few steps on the left wing to control the service. He took a few dribbles in towards the box, and dropped a perfectly-placed pass near the goal line, where Tiago Tomas rushed in and slid to drive the ball to the back of the net, knotting things up at one. USA 1, POR 1
Key Defensive Stops
Damian Las and Adam Armour, 6th minute: Portugal threatened early when Daniel Rodrigues got his head on a nice ball into the box and put it on-frame. Las got in front of the attempt, but his save bounced to the feet of Bruno Tavares. Armour did well to recover quickly and clear away Tavares’ attempt from the goal line.
Damian Las, 52nd minute: Bruno Tavares sent a well-placed free kick to the far corner of the six-yard-box, where Rafael Brito dove to get his head on the ball and push it to the near post. Las held his position and dove to his right, saving the attempt.
– U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team Match Report –
Match:U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team vs. Portugal
Date:November 28, 2018
Competition:2018 Nike International Friendlies
Venue:Premier Sports Campus; Lakewood Ranch, Fla.
Kickoff: 6:30 p.m. ET
Weather:53 degrees; clear
Scoring Summary:1 2 F
USA 1 0 1
POR 0 1 1
USA – Griffin Yow 36th minute
POR – Tiago Tomás (Gerson Sousa) 81
USA:1-Damian Las, 2-Joe Scally, 3-Adam Armour, 4-Axel Aleandre, 5-Kobe Hernandez, 6-Tayvon Gray, 8-Adam Saldana (18-Peter Stroud, 80), 9-Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez (19-Ricardo Pepi, 64), 10-Giovanni Reyna (capt.), 11-Griffin Yow (17-Cameron Dunbar, 90), 16-William Reilly
Substitutes not used: 7-André Luiz Costa, 12-Chituru Odunze, 14-Mason Judge, 15-Sebastian Falsone, 20-Daniel Robles, 21-Gianluca Busio
Head Coach: Shaun Tsakiris
POR:1-Samuel Soares, 2-Rafael Rodrigues (15-Leonardo Buta, 84), 3-Tomás Araújo, 4-Eduardo Quaresma (capt.) (14-Felipe Cruz, 70), 5-Rafael Brito, 6-Joáo Daniel, 7-Henrique Pereira (9-Francisco Conceicão, 70), 10-Paulo Bernardo, 16-Bruno Tavares (17-Gerson Sousa, 55), 18-Tiago Tomás, 20-Daniel Rodrigues (19-Gonçalo Batalha, 70)
Substitutes not used: 8-Tiago Ribeiro, 11-Pedro Silva, 12-Sérgio Dutra, 13-Rodrigo Rêgo
Head coach: Emilio Peixe