Under-17 World Championships
World dream dies in 7-6 tiebreaker loss to Australia after 2-2 tie.CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (Wednesday, November 24, 1999) -- It took 120 minutes of soccer and eight rounds of penalty kicks before the United States dream of advancing to the final of the FIFA Under-17 Men's World Championship finally died.
After the U.S. and Australia battled to a 2-2 tie in regulation and 30 minutes of sudden death produced no winner, the two nations traded six successes in seven rounds of penalty kicks. In the eighth round of the tiebreaker, Joshua Kennedy converted for the Australians, followed by American captain Kenny Cutler who sent his effort over the crossbar leaving the Aussies to move on the final with an 7-6 preponderance.
Australia will face the winner of the Brazil-Ghana semifinal for the crown. The U.S will face the loser of that semi for third place Friday at 7 p.m. (ET) at North Harbour Stadium in Auckland.
"I am incredibly proud of this team as our entire country should be." said U.S. coach John Ellinger. "Just a great group of guys who are hurting a lot right now."
For the fourth time in five games in this tournament, the U.S. allowed the first goal of the match. On this occasion, it was Aaron Goulding who slotted an easy left-foot shot home from inside the goalkeeper area in the third minute for a 1-0 Australia lead. Goulding received the ball off a corner kick that skipped by the American defense.
Australia increased its advantage to 2-0 in the 35th minute when Scott McDonald moved freely into the left side of the penalty area, turned to beat defender Onyewu and fired home to the far post.
Just one minute later, however, Donovan, a striker, netted his team-leading third goal of the tournament after working a give-and-go with midfielder Kyle Beckerman. Running across the 18-yard-line, Donovan, who earned "Man of the Match" honors, fired a blistering left-footed laser that curved into the upper left corner of the goal to make the score 2-1.
The U.S. pulled even in the 51st minute with Donovan again being the catalyst. In a carbon copy of his headed game-winning goal against Uruguay, Oguchi Onyewu leapt high at the far post and nodded into the right side of the goal an arching corner kick to make it 2-2.
"This team's success over here, and for the last two years, is the essence of what Project 2010 is all about," said Ellinger about the United States Soccer Federation's development program. "I believe that in 10 or 11 years, these kids and other players that we are still out there scouting, are going to be challenging for a World Cup title when they are 28- and 29-years-old."
Australia 2, United States 2
United States - Delvin Countess, Nelson Akwari (captain),
Alexander Yi, Seth Trembly, Oguchi Onyewu, Kyle Beckerman (Abe Thompson
79), DaMarcus Beasley, Kenny Cutler, Bryan Jackson (Adolfo Gregorio 105),
Landon Donovan, Jordan Cila (Bobby Convey 105);
Australia - Jess Kedwell-Vanstrattan, Shane Cansdell-Sherriff, Aaron Goulding,
Adrian Madaschi, Mark Byrnes (captain), Jade North, Louis Brain (Joseph Di Iorio
46), Lucas Pantelis, Scott McDonald (Joshua Kennedy 69), Wayne Srhoj, Dylan