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Facts & Figures

Under-17 World Championships

Thompson, Donovan spark second-half comeback to defeat New Zealand 2-1 in world championships.

AUCKLAND, New Zealand (Wednesday, November 10, 1999) -- Abe Thompson and Landon Donovan found net in a five-minute span midway through the second half to erase a own-goal deficit and lift the United States to a 2-1 victory over New Zealand before 14,103 in the opening match of the FIFA Under-17 World Youth Championship.

The U.S. is now unbeaten in its last 21 international matches, compiling a 17-0-4 mark.

With the strong wind at their backs, the Americans pulled even at 1-1 in the 69th minute when second-half substitute Abe Thompson beat two New Zealand defenders on the edge of the penalty area before hitting a tough-angle shot past goalkeeper Sacha Nathu to the near post.

Then in the 74th minute, star U.S. striker Landon Donovan calmly one-timed a soft volley from eight yards to give the Americans the 2-1 lead. The assist on Donovan's 33d goal in 36 U-17 international appearances came from a long, arcing pass from the left wing from Oguchi Onyewu who will sit out the Americans' second match against Poland Saturday (late Friday in the U.S.) after he was sent off with a red card in the second minute of injury time.

New Zealand gained a 1-0 advantage in the 15th minute when midfielder David Mulligan headed home a free kick from the left wing, beating keeper Delvin Countess to the near post.

Mulligan was ejected in the 50th minute with a second yellow card, awarded for a reckless tackle on Donovan in the 50th minute, giving the U.S. a man advantage for most of the second half.

The U.S. twice hit the woodwork after intermission with Jordan Cila hitting the post from close range in the 58th minute and Kyle Beckerman blasting a side-volley from 15 yards off the underside of the crossbar in the 73d minute.

United States 2, New Zealand 1

Lineups: New Zealand - Sacha Nathu, Julius Kolk (Brent Fisher 46, Daniel Trent 83), Sanjay Singh, David Rayner, Tony Lockhead, David Mulligan, Jeremy Christie (Captain), James Pritchett, Allan Pearce, Steven Turner, Neil Jones); United States - Delvin Countess, Alexander Yi, Nelson Akwari, Oguchi Onyewu, Greg Martin (Bryan Jackson 46), Kenny Cutler (captain), Bobby Convey, Kyle Beckerman, DaMarcus Beasley (Adolfo Gregorio 93+), Jordan Cila (Abe Thompson, 63), Landon Donovan.

Scoring:
New Zealand - Mulligan 15;
United States - Thompson (Beasley) 68;
United States - Donovan (Onyewu) 73.

Yellow card cautions: New Zealand - Mulligan 15, Pearce 94+; United States - Martin 15, Yi 77. Red card ejections: New Zealand - Mulligan (second yellow card) 50; United States - Oneywu 92+.

Referee: Wolfgang Stark (Germany). Assistant referees: Igor Sramka (Slovakia), Heinrich MacKay (Aruba). Attendance: 14,103 in Auckland, New Zealand. Weather: Steady downpour, strong wind.

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