October 17, 2015
OFF ON THE WRONG FOOT
U.S. U-17s fall to Nigeria in World Cup opener
SANTIAGO, Chile. - It doesn't seem to matter which age level, the U.S. men's soccer program is not having a very good October. After the recent failure of the senior team to advance to the Confederations Cup, and the U-23s to qualify for the Olympics, The U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team was defeated 2-0 by Nigeria in the teams' opening match of the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup.
The match was scoreless for the first 49 minutes of play until Chukwudi Agor broke the tie with a goal in the 50th minute and then assisted on Victor Osimhen's score eleven minutes later.
The U.S. had opportunities in the first half, producing some good chances down the left side where Christian Pulisic played the architect. The best came early, when in the 13th minute, Pulisic whipped in a cross from the left that Haji Wright hit over the bar from close range.
Nigeria took the lead early in the second half as the USA defense dropped deep . As John Lazarus reached the edge of the box on the right he centered a cross. Austin Trusty stepped to it to clear it away, but mishit his clearance and the ball trickled across the box, where Agor ran onto it and blasted it into the net.
In the 61st minute, Agor won a header off a short USA goal kick and immediately passed it up to Osimhen, who took couple of controlling touches and to get around the backpedaling U.S. defenders at the top of the box. Osimhen fired a left-footed shot from 14 yards out, which found the lower right corner of the goal and put the Nigerians up by a pair of goals.
The U17 MNT will look to bounce back in its second group game at Estadio Sausalito in Vina del Mar Chile on Tuesday, Oct. 20 against Croatia, but will have to do so without defender Austin Trusty, who was sent off with a red card in the 87th minute. That match will kick off at 4 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 2 and NBC Universo.
The team will conclude group play on Friday, Oct. 23 at 7 p.m. ET against host Chile, a match that will also appear on FOX Sports 2 and NBC Universo.