Under-17 World Championships
Donovan penalty kick in 88th minute is enough for 1-1 with Poland in world championships.AUCKLAND, New Zealand (Saturday, November 13, 1999) -- Landon Donovan netted a penalty kick in the 88th minute to allow the United States to salvage a 1-1 draw tonight against Poland in Group A at the FIFA Under-17 World Championship.
The top two teams from Group A advance to the quarterfinals. The U.S. (1-0-1, 4 points, plus-1 goal differential) can clinch advancement with a victory over Uruguay 1-0-1, 4, plus-5) Tuesday at 8:15 p.m. (1:15 a.m. Eastern Time). With a tie, the Americans can still advance Poland (0-0-2, 2, 0) loses or ties New Zealand (0-2-0, 0, minus-6) Tuesday or wins by two goals or less. The U.S. can also advance if it loses if Poland also falls. The Poland-New Zealand match immediately precedes the Americans' game.
The winner of Group A will remain in Auckland and play the runnerup in Group B. The second-place team of Group A will travel to Napier and play the winner of Group B. Spain and Ghana lead Group B, both with a 1-0-1 record going into the final group match tomorrow in Napier.
Donovan, who worked some good combinations with midfielder Kyle Beckerman in the second half, was taken down by Wojciech Szymanek just inside the box. Donovan drove his powerful penalty to the left corner of the net just beyond the strong dive of Poland's goalkeeper Pawel Kapsa.
The strong play of U.S. goalkeeper Delvin Countess was crucial to the Americans gaining a draw.
Poland gained a 1-0 lead in the 43d minute after U.S. striker Bobby Convey was whistled for a foul just inside the left perimeter of the penalty area, while helping to defend. Lukasz Maej placed his shot in the left corner of the net as Countess guessed wrong and dove in the other direction.
Poland's offense pressured the American backs throughout the first half. Defender Alex Yi prevented Poland from getting on the scoreboard earlier when he cleared a shot off the U.S. goal line with a header.
Countess also kept the match scoreless with a great effort to save a near own goal by teammate Seth Trembly.
United States 1, Poland 1United States - D.J. Countess, Alexander Yi, Nelson Akwari (captain), Greg Martin, Bryan Jackson, Seth Trembly, Kenny Cutler (Raul Palomares 81), Bobby Convey (Adolfo Gregorio 46), Kyle Beckerman, DaMarcus Beasley, Jordan Cila (Abe Thompson 46), Landon Donovan. Poland - Pawel Kapsa, Marcin Rogalski (captain), Adian Napierala (Robert Sierant 58), Tomasz Wisio, Wojciech Szymanek, Lukasz Nawotczynski, Lukasz Mierzejewski (Radoslaw Matusiak 84), Lukasj Madej, Piotr Brozek, Kamil Kuzera, Pawel Brozek (Darius Zawadzki 70).
Yellow card cautions: United States - Gregorio 52.
Referee: Robert Ayala (Paraguay). Assistant referees: Heinrich MacKay (Aruba), Philip Sharp (England). Attendance: 14,103 in Auckland, New Zealand. Weather: n/a.