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Jones heroic strike in 88th minute provides 2-1 victory over Chile.

COQUIMBO, Chile (Saturday, January 29, 2000) -- Second-half substitute Cobi Jones nailed a perfect game-winner in the 88th minute giving the visiting United States a dramatic 2-1 victory over Chile tonight before a large, celebrating crowd at Estadio Francisco Sanchez Rumoros.

Both teams were in preseason form and the game was resultantly sloppy and for most of the time not particularly entertaining. All three goals, however, were well taken.

Midfielder Eddie Lewis, who was named "Man of the Match," for his goal and assist set up the winner after streaking down the left flank. He lifted a long ball to Jones, who eight yards from the far post, nailed the pass out of the air, six inched above the ground, in full stride, nailed a hard bouncing shot that found its way back inside the left post.to make it 2-1. Jones entered the match 18 minutes earlier.

Earning his 15th cap, Lewis’ second international tally made it 1-0 in the 55th minute. Forward Eric Wynalda’s send a free kick from the left side into the penalty area where Lewis flicked a header into the far right corner.

It took Chile only two minutes to even the count to 1-1. Raul Palacios sent a pass forward to Jaime Riveros who turned and laced a shot into the right corner from more than 30 yards.

The U.S., which is now 1-0-1 in 2000 after a 1-1 draw with Iran two weeks ago, has now beaten Chile three straight times and is 3-4-1 in the series. The win streak started with a familiar 2-1 triumph in Copa America in Paysandu, Uruguay, on June 8, 1995.

Lewis netted his first international goal against Chile almost a year ago, when he knocked in the game-winner in the 65th minute to help the U.S. to a 2-1 victory on February 21, 1999 at Lockhart Stadium in Fort. Lauderdale, Fla.

Utilizing a 3-5-2 formation, the U.S. defense was anchored by Eddie Pope at sweeper and the solid play of outside backs Greg Vanney and C.J. Brown. Veteran goalkeeper Tony Meola, who leads all U.S. goalkeepers with 91 caps, made just one save, but was shaky more than once in misplaying entry passes into the box. Fortunately for the Americans, no damage came from Meola’s misadventures.

The Americans will regroup in Fort Lauderdale to prepare for the CONCACAF Gold Cup 2000 with first-round matches against Haiti (February 12) and Peru (February 16) in Miami.

United States 2, Chile 1

Lineups: Chile - Marcelo Ramirez; Raul Palacios, Miguel Ramirez (Alex von Schwelder 46), Mauricio Aros; Christian Flores, Marcos Villaseca, Clarence Acuna, Estaben Valencia (Joel Reyes 37), Jaime Riveros; Mario Nunez (Pedro Gonzalez 66), Sebastian Rozental (Ricardo Queralto 85); United States - Tony Meola, Greg Vanney, Eddie Pope, C.J. Brown, Eddie Lewis, Chris Armas (John Harkes 46), Richie Williams, Ben Olsen (Cobi Jones 70), Jovan Kirovski (Chad Deering 78); Eric Wynalda (Roy Lassiter 56), Ante Razov.

United States - Lewis (Wynalda) 55.
Chile - Riveros (Palacios) 57.
United States - Jones (Lewis) 88.

Shots: Chile 8, United States 8. Saves: Chile 3, United States 1. Corner kicks: Chile 3, United States 3. Fouls: Chile 13, United States 17. Offside: Chile 3, United States 1. Yellow card caution: Chile - Palacios 43, Reyes 50; United States - Armas 12, Olsen 41, Lewis 77.

Venue: Estadio Francisco Sanchez Rumoros in Coquimbo, Chile. Weather: Cool, crisp 65 degrees.

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