Reyna shines as U.S. dumps Austria 3-0. Hejduk and McBride also score.
VIENNA, Austria (Wednesday, April 22, 1998) -- Midfielder Claudio Reyna set up the first two goals, then scored one himself as the United States sused three second-half tallies for a 3-0 victory over Austria vefore of 17,000 fans at Ernst-Happel Stadium.
The U.S. team left the field to a standing ovation and the chant of "USA! USA! USA!" from the Austrian fans. The triumph snapped a four-game winless streak for the Americans, leaving them with an 8-3-3 mark in their last 14 matches. It was the Americans’ final appearance in Europe before returning to France for the World Cup, which begins June 10.
Midfielder Frankie Hejduk and forward Brian McBride also scored for the Americans against Austria, which finished first in Europe’s Group 4 in World Cup qualifying, ahead of Scotland and 1994 World Cup third-place finisher Sweden.
"I received some more room because the whole team played well," said Reyna. "We kept the ball a little bit better in second half and we started to get more room. With Cobi (Jones’) and Frankie's speed and Ernie (Stewart) as well. It gave me a lot of space because the other team had to respect that. And I was able to sneak in the gaps and get the ball and be able to take them on one-on-one and create some things."
Though the game remained scoreless, the U.S. had a large edge in possession time. Finally, in the 56th minute, Hejduk poked home a five-yard shot off a Reyna pass. The opportunity was created after Reyna dribbled through three defenders as the Austrian defense attempted to pull an offside trap, holding the ball until his teammates returned from an offside position.
In the 89th minute, Reyna used a back-heel pass to break McBride free down the left side. As Austrian goalkeeper Franz Wohlfahrt approached, McBride slotted to his low shot into the right corner.
Three minutes into injury time. Reyna's received a diagonal pass from defender Jeff Agoos, an 87th minute sub. Reyna cut right across the 18 yard-line to beat his defender into the middle of the field and blasted a 19-yard low dipping shot into the left corner, his sixth international goal.
The match presented a last opportunity for several American players trying to impress coach Steve Sampson who will choose the bulk of his World Cup squad in the next seven to 10 days.
"The difference is the return of Thomas Dooley and Eddie Pope into the defense. That was one factor," said Sampson. "Second, I thought Claudio Reyna played an exceptional match, both offensively and defensively, I think he was involved in all three goals. And I think the wide play of Cobi Jones and Frankie Hejduk, its a very demanding position, worked very hard up and down the field and created a lot of opportunities for us.
Notes: Defender/midfielder Dooley, who turns 37 on May 12, wore the captain's armband for tonight's match, but forgot to put it on until the start of halftime. Dooley took over for midfielder John Harkes who was released from the team by Sampson last week.
Today's game marked the third anniversary of Sampson's international head coaching debut. His first game as interim head coach came on April 22, 1995, in Brussels, Belgium, where the USA lost 1-0.He has since gone 25-19-12.
The last time the U.S. won on the European mainland was on August 28, 1991, a 2-0 victory over Romania in Brasov, Romania (a span of nine games, not including a 1-0 victory in Reykjavik, Iceland on August 31, 1993).
United States 3, Austria 0Lineups: Austria - Michael Konsel (Franz Wohlfahrt), Harald Cerny (Markus Schoop 57), Peter Schottel, Martin Hiden, Anton Pfeffer (Walter Kogler 46), Roman Mahlich, Ivica Vastic, Dietmar Kuhbauer, Toni Polster (Mario Haas 57), Andreas Herzog (Hannes Reinmayr 57), Gilbert Prilasnig (Martin Amerhauser 46). United States - Kasey Keller, Mike Burns, Thomas Dooley, Eddie Pope, Cobi Jones, Claudio Reyna (Roy Wegerle 90), Chad Deering, Brian Maisonneuve (Preki Radosalvljevic 70), Frankie Hejduk (John O’Brien 80), Ernie Stewart (Jeff Agoos 87), David Wagner (Brian McBride 46).
Scoring: United States - Hejduk (Reyna) 54; United States - McBride (Reyna) 89; United States Reyna (Agoos) 93. Shots: Austria 4, United States 7. Saves: Austria 1, United States 1. Corner kicks: Austria 7, United States 8. Fouls: Austria 8, United States 7. Offside: Austria 1, United States 3. Yellow card cautions: Austria - Vastic 34.
Referee: Antilla Hanacsek (Hungary). Assistant referees: Imre Bozoky (Hungary), Sandor Marton (Hungary). Attendance: 17,000 at Ernst-Happel Stadium, Vienna, Austria. Weather: Cloudy, 48 degrees.