Okay, the USA-Austria quarterfinal starts in about 15 minutes, and I'm going to liveblog the match. USA are trying to advance to the semifinals for the first time since 1989, when Kasey Keller led the U-20s to fourth place in Saudi Arabia. Let's go...
The big news for the USA is that Seitz, Altidore, and Zizzo are back in the lineup. That's really good news for their chances.
Austria have had their best performance in the U-20 World Cup, and the coaches have had great things to say about their squad.
Here's the yellow card situation: Bradley, Adu, Wallace, Beltran, and Ferrari have yellows; Panny, Stanislaw, Madl, and Rasswalder are the Austrian players with yellow cards.
For those of you wondering, Erwin "Jimmy" Hoffer is on the substitutes' bench for Austria. That name will have to be worked in at some point.
Here come the players...USA are dressed in all white, and Austria in red shirts and black shorts.
The two captains - Proedl and Adu - make statements to the crowd in honor of FIFA's Anti-Discrimination Day.
The anthems of the two countries are played, and it's time to start!
BMO Field The National Soccer Stadium in Toronto is not full, but there is a fair amount of American fans in the stands.
First half. Austria kicks off.
3': USA not able to maintain possession at the moment. Just a bunch of long balls over the top, not like them in this tournament.
4': Suttner takes a free kick that is fierce, but way wide.
6': Adu takes the ball from Rogers, and a terrific dribbling effort earns a free kick at the left edge of the penalty area. Szetela takes it and goes for goal but it's headed away.
9': That ball is pinging around a lot, and some of the American players are slipping on the pitch. And to top it off, it's starting to rain.
10': And Altidore sets off some alarm bells on the Austrian backline. Deflected away for a corner.
10': Adu takes the corner, it falls to Rogers alone at the top of the box, but he launches the ball out of the stadium!
12': Austria take a free kick, and Szetela sprawls out to head the ball away for a corner. Panny gets a head on the ensuing corner and the ball shoots wide of the far post.
15': YESSSS !!!! And Adu makes the difference again. Adu on the far left side of the field shoots in a ferocious cross, and Altidore is there on the spot to head the ball past Zaglmair inside the near post. USA 1-0 Austria !!
17': Austria have a chance after the restart, get a corner, but the ensuing shot is defended well for a US goal kick.
That Adu-Altidore combination works again, they really know each other's places on the field very well.
18': Austria get a third corner of the game, but it's cleared away and Adu leads the counterattack. A really good counter, very dangerous, but the finishing shot falls into Zaglmair's hands.
19': Oh my goodness, Seitz very nearly handled the ball outside the area to clear an Austrian advance. If he had done so, he would have been sent off. But no call is made - big sigh of relief there!
The American players are getting to the ball, but they can't hold onto it long enough to make sustained possession downfield. The defense isn't making it easy, but it is holding.
24': Was that a penalty on Proedl against Adu?
Contrast to the previous US match - there the referee called everything, in this match the ref is letting a lot of stuff go.
26': I am really liking the Adu-Altidore combination -- everytime they combine together the US attack looks dangerous.
28': Now the Americans are enjoying themselves on the field. Adu especially!
That being said, some of the American players lose possession way too easily.
30': Corner conceded to Austria. Nothing doing.
This has been a good half hour for the United States. The chances are there, they just need to convert them.
33': And we have our first yellow card of the match, shown to Austria's Kavlak.
Austria's just not being very creative at the moment. But Kavlak is the one player doing something useful.
37': And Austria is going to make a substitution, Harvik in for Morgenthaler. As the commentator said, Austria is going to have to bring on someone who can create.
38': And Seitz makes a mistake by spilling Kavlak's shot, but recovers nicely to block the rebound with his face!! Talk about taking one for the team!
The Americans need to sustain possession, and they haven't been doing that in the last ten minutes. Low-percentage and long-range shots from Adu aren't going to do the trick.
41': Two great chances by the USA. Adu releases Rogers on the right, he nutmegs the defender and crosses to Adu, but his shot is blocked away. Another shot is blocked.
The US defenders have put themselves in the right places.
43': And Seitz spills another one and pays the penalty... Okotie takes the rebound, turns, fires and the ball goes past Seitz into the net. USA 1-1 Austria
44': Yellow card to Junuzovic.
The goal really came out of nothing, but that's what happens when you don't hold on the ball and don't cleanly collect rebounds. Not making it easy, boys...
45'+1: Robbie Rogers now goes into the referee's notebook.
Halftime. USA 1-1 Austria. The USA had most of the dangerous chances, and Adu has had a very good game, but the combination of needless giveaways and rebounds has brought Austria back into the game. The Americans need to buckle down and get to the task on hand to advance to the next round.
One more thing...the tendency of American teams to give up goals in the final minutes of a half is becoming really tiresome.
A mitigating factor is going to be the rain. Expect it to play a major role in the second half.
Second half. USA kicks off. And it's still raining.
49': American players still not able to sustain possession.
50': And Wallace gets booked for a late challenge, and he will now miss the semifinal if the USA advances.
52': And now Szetela gets a yellow card, too. A late challenge on Madl. Careful, boys...
The Americans are really struggling with the wet conditions on an artificial pitch. And it nearly cost them a goal.
55': Austria are playing better at the moment, and Okotie wins Austria a free kick. The free kick is very clever - shades of Argentina at the 1998 World Cup against England, but well defended.
57': And now Bradley will miss the semifinal after picking up a yellow. That will be a major blow for the USA if they advance. They really need to keep their heads in the game, discipline and rhythm are getting away from them.
59': Adu will take the corner...it's a short one (Rogers?), but Adu balloons the cross. His worst touch of the match up to this point.
Half an hour to go, and I'm not liking the way this match is going. Szetela is going off now, and Dax McCarty is coming on.
64': The substitution has increased the pace of the match. And Zaglmair has gifted a corner -- no need to pick up the rolling ball at all! Fortunately for him, the corner is headed away.
68': So who's nervous? I sure am!
69': And here's a reason to be nervous, Okotie evades three defenders, shoots past Seitz, and it's cleared away off the line by Sturgis! Sturgis has had a very good tournament, and he's saved the USA there!
This has the looks of another ugly game for the USA.
70': Stanislaw goes in very hard on Adu, gets a yellow and now he will be out of the semifinal should Austria advance.
72': Sturgis gets a yellow card now, for a second I thought it was going to be Wallace which would have sent him off.
The USA has got to do something about the fouling and yellow cards -- it is going to bite them in the rear big time.
75': Adu makes a good effort on the right side, wins a free kick on the side of the penalty area, but the effort is over Altidore's head.
76': Very strong effort by Bradley, good charge through the center of the field and a shot that Zaglmair stops with a diving save.
78': Austria hit the post!! Kavlak's shot is parried away by Seitz, and the rebound hits the near post! And the USA are still alive!
Seitz has kept the USA in the game, can Adu, Altidore and company put the Americans ahead?
81': US substitution now...Ward will now come on for Beltran.
I hate to admit it but Austria have had more dangerous opportunities in this half than the USA. And one is all you need!
85': Harvik is a real problem on the right side. Wallace does very well to defend him. Harvik has turned out to be a very good substitution.
86': Hackmair has an excellent opportunity to give Austria the lead, but he scuffs his shot and the ball goes wide. Still scary...
89': There will be three minutes of stoppage time.
90'+2: A very good combination for the USA, but Altidore's shot is blocked away.
90'+3: Are we headed for extra time?
END OF REGULATION. USA 1-1 Austria. For the second time in two matches the USA will play 120 minutes. The match has been even in the second half, but Austria have had slightly more opportunities. And they will remember the shot off the post with 12 minutes to go.
1st ET: USA to kick off.
91': And the USA score almost immediately! I couldn't see who were on both ends of the cross and header, but it was a really good chance.
I should also say that it's stopped raining - hasn't rained in 20 minutes.
95': What a panicked clearance by Ward - it hits the Austrian striker (Okotie I think) but fortunately it rolls away harmlessly. Ward is apologetic to his teammates.
It looks like the USA is trying to win this game by crossing to the middle and hoping for a header. They need better crossers than their previous effort by Rogers.
98': Altidore gets some free space and tries his luck from outside the area, but the effort is very high and wide. He could/should have gotten in closer. Fatigue has to be a factor by now.
99': Ohh and McCarty releases Adu on the left, he rounds the keeper, but the final shot is too high. Even if it were on target, it would likely have been cleared off the line. But what an opportunity.
102': And Erwin "Jimmy" Hoffer is going to try to bury the USA, coming on for Junuzovic.
104': And Wallace comes in hard on Harvik, and the second yellow card is shown to him. Wallace is now sent off, and the USA are down to ten men.
105': And the resulting free kick sets off alarm bells in the USA defensive line, Seitz can't get to it, nor can the other defenders, and Hoffer puts a final boot on it to put Austria in the lead. USA 1-2 Austria.
That was BAD.
End 1st ET: The USA are now a goal behind, and a man behind. Jimmy Hoffer is the big man who made the difference. USA 1-2 Austria.
And Ferrari is coming on in place of Zizzo. Remember that Ferrari has a yellow card.
107': And Austria have a corner kick. Proedl's header is very good but Seitz is there.
USA have thirteen minutes to figure out how to get a goal. Do their strikers have anything left?
109': And there was a great opportunity by Adu, three US strikers are there, but Ferrari's header hits the ground and bounces out. Ohhh!
Ten minutes to go.
112': Harvik has an excellent chance to clinch the game, but his shot is well held by Seitz.
113': Yellow card now to Valentin, for holding back Okotie.
115': And Harvik gets another opening again on the right, and his effort is over the bar!!
116': Adu is brought down 25 yards outside the area, and Madl gets a yellow card. He is out of the semis should Austria hold on.
116': That was a good free kick by Adu, but not nearly enough power, and Zaglmair holds on.
118': Hoffer off the post!! And it was two Austrian strikers against the keeper!
118': Freddy's effort was deflected wide for a corner, but the ensuing corner bounces off Ward for a goal kick. Time's running out.
One minute to go...
120': The ball goes through to Altidore, but he can only get a head to it.
I can't believe that Austria is putting on a substitution at this time! Okotie goes off to a big ovation.
120'+2: Free kick to Adu, it's blocked away, but back to Adu, who is fouled again
End 2nd ET. USA 1-2 Austria. Austria take advantage of failed clearances and rebounds to achieve a historic passage to the semifinals. For the USA, what do you say? I thought this year might be their moment, but once again it's not.
Thanks to everyone for stopping by and following the match here. I wish it could have been a better result.
Mexico advanced to the quarterfinal round of the U-20 World Cup after beating Congo 3-0 in Montreal. Congo were very brave and deserved at least a goal from their efforts, but Mexico never trailed after the Dos Santos penalty midway through the first half.
Mexico will now face Argentina in Ottawa on Sunday evening, and that should be an epic clash. That match is good enough to be a final, and has the potential to be the most memorable encounter of the tournament.
I'll try to update this post throughout the day, but for now I want to share some of the Uruguayan reaction to last night's match. The major Montevideo daily El País had the following headine: A Uruguay lo sacó el menos malo (The less bad team knocked Uruguay out). The match was too physical and lacking in skill for the writer's liking, but to me the main quote is the following:
Lo que más lastima no es haber quedado afuera, sino la paupérrima
imagen que dio este combinado juvenil dirigido por Gustavo Ferrín, que
para cerrar lo que fue un penoso paso por Canadá se coronó como mal
perdedor e intentó agredir a los estadounidenses mientras celebraban.
Futbolísticamente a nada jugó en los cuatro encuentros que disputó y
que, en definitiva, lo dejó afuera un equipo como el norteamericano que
ganó por ser el menos malo.
(What hurts more isn't being knocked out, but rather the poor image left by the youth squad directed by Gustavo Ferrín, that in closing what was a regrettable trip through Canada crowned themselves bad losers and tried to attack the Americans while they were celebrating. In football terms, nothing was at stake in the four matches that they played, and certainly, Uruguay were left out by a team such as the American squad that won by being the least bad.)
Doug McIntyre has a review of the match on ESPN Soccernet. It was the kind of ugly, physical performance that a contender has to win. He felt that Perk played very well, which is a very generous assessment to me. Bobby McMahon was at the game last night, and has a report on his blog. He singled out Nathan Sturgis as the best player on the field -- I felt Freddy Adu was more influential on the offensive front, but the defense needed to play well, and Sturgis was a major contributor. Colin Smith at the Off the Post blog shows that Uruguay's post-match antics are just part of a now traditional ritual.
As you're aware, the USA have advanced to the quarterfinal round after a heart-stopping match against Uruguay. On Saturday in Toronto they will face Austria, who defeated Gambia 2-1. Erwin "Jimmy" Hoffer scored the winner for the Austrians, who had to battle against a brave Gambian side reduced to ten men for the entire second half.
Austria is a better matchup for the USA than Gambia, in my opinion, but they'll still have to be careful. And "Jimmy" Hoffer is the best name I've heard of at this WC.
It looks like the USA-Uruguay match will not be shown on ESPN after all, counter my expectations. Since I have ESPNU, as a community service I will be liveblogging the match. I'll post periodic updates beginning at 18:30 CDT. See you then.
UPDATE: As expected, Ives Galarcep will be liveblogging USA-Uruguay as well.
Not sure yet if yellow cards obtained in the group phase carry over to the knockout rounds. We'll find out when the broadcast starts.
Lineup for USA - Perk, Sturgis, Bradley, Szetela, Rogers, Adu, Altidore, Wallace, Zizzo, Valentin, Beltran.
Lineup for Uruguay - Irrazabal, Cáceres, Roman, Kagelmacher, Cardaccio, D. Suaréz, Cavani, Díaz, Arismendi, Surraco, L. Suaréz.
Ives Galarcep is reporting that Seitz picked up an injury during training, so Perk will have to take his place. That's a blow to the USA, because Seitz has performed so well during the group matches.
I have to get my food, so I'll be back in 10 minutes. Hopefully I won't miss the kickoff.
And I'm back...but I missed the kickoff. Still 0-0 at 12'.
Doing some catch-up at Ives' site...it looks like an even game, although Uruguay has had more of the ball as of late.
18': Cavani makes a blazing run down the left and crosses to L. Suarez, but the cross is deflected away by Szetela for a corner. The corner goes for naught.
Cavani is going to be a pest for the US defense.
22': Another corner to Uruguay.
24': Bradley tries to hold back Cardaccio, and Bradley gets a yellow card. The USA need to watch themselves against this referee - he's very quick on his whistle.
30': I have a bad feeling that the referee is going to play a major role in this match. I could be wrong, but it's just a hunch.
37': Here's a surprise...USA and Uruguay are even in possession. It hasn't seemed that way lately...
40': Good work between Cardaccio and L. Suarez produces a dangerous opportunity, but the ball gets too far ahead and Perk collects.
44': The match has really opened up in the last five minutes. And the USA has earned their first corner of the game.
HALFTIME. No stoppage time added by the referee, and it's USA 0-0 Uruguay.
It's an even match so far, the USA will have to watch those fouls outside their own penalty area, and they will also need to get Altidore going. Uruguay are definitely a lively and physical side.
If my updates seemed sporadic in the first half, it's because I was eating. I'm done now, so they should be more frequent in the second half.
Second half. Teams are back onto the field, and Uruguay will kick off to start the second half. It is so weird to see them wearing red!
48': No substitutions made for either side, but from the scissor tackle that Altidore withstood from Cáceres, there might be one very soon.
50': It looks like Altidore is really hurting, and Andre Akpan will have to come on. That is a serious blow for the Americans' hopes.
54': And the USA will make another change - Dax McCarty comes on for Sal Zizzo. That's surprising to me.
62': USA is playing compact in the back, but they really need to be able to string some passes in the final third of the field.
65': Corner to Uruguay, which the US backline is unable to clear, but Perk manages to collect it. USA hangs on...
67': More dangerous moments for the USA...Uruguay get another corner, but the header is low and wide. Suarez is one lively player.
71': Uruguay have a free kick about 30 yards away, the kick is very good, but the header is off target and Suarez is offside anyway.
73': Oh no! Luis Suarez sends a cross, Cavani heads it toward Perk, but he spills it and Suarez collects the rebound into the net. USA 0-1 Uruguay.
That was not a good sequence in the back for the USA, and those injuries to Seitz and Altidore have really hurt the US hopes.
80': Ives is starting to feel pessimistic, and so am I. I don't see how the USA is going to climb back, but Rongen is finally going to put on Gabriel Ferrari for Beltran.
82': Uruguay is really pressing the action and pinning the Americans into their own half. The corner rebounds off an American player and is collected by Perk.
83': Adu draws a corner for the USA. And Bradley has an excellent opportunity, but his shot goes off Irrazabal's knees!! So close!
87': YESSSSSS!! Off an excellent corner by Adu, the rebound finds Szetela on the left, his cross is redirected by Andre Akpan into the back of the net. And it's USA 1-1 Uruguay!
The goal may be scored by an own goal by Cardaccio, but few American supporters will care right now. Some very nervous moments ahead.
90': Corner to Uruguay. They get one shot in that is blocked off the line, USA fails to clear their lines again, and Diaz puts in a powerful header off the post!!
Three minutes of stoppage time to be played.
90'+1: And Cardaccio and Szetela have an altercation, and Cardaccio strikes Szetela on the face. It didn't look hard, but isn't that a sending-off offense? The ref doesn't see it that way.
END REGULATION.USA 1-1 Uruguay. The USA is having trouble handling the physical Uruguayan strikers, but kept themselves in the game thanks to a well-taken set-piece by Freddy Adu and well-applied pressure by Andre Akpan.
Good to see Adu taking charge in the huddle.
1st ET: USA kicks off.
92': That was a good free kick by Szetela, bounced freely in the penalty area but no US player could get to it.
A reminder that the USA have no substitutions left, while Uruguay has two at their disposal.
93': Cáceres earns a free kick, which is well taken, but wasted.
95': Okay, doesn't look like the ref is going to call anything at this moment. Was that a foul on Adu outside the area?
97': And a corner to Uruguay, header by Cáceres and Perk makes an excellent save. Perk scrambles along the bye line to pick the ball up but Cáceres' boot hits him in the upper back. Fortunately Perk is fine.
101': Finally McCarty does something good with the ball. He combines well with Szetela, who finds Adu on the left, but Adu is offside. Irrazabal caught the ball on his face for nothing.
103': Again McCarty makes a useful move...what's gotten into him?
104': Yellow card to Wallace now.
105'+1: Some nervous moments in the back, but Perk gets to the bouncing ball before Cavani does.
End 1st EX. Still USA 1-1 Uruguay. Fifteen minutes to go in this evenly-poised match.
Start 2nd EX.
107': YESSSSS !!! And Michael Bradley stabs in the corner from close range!! And it's USA 2-1 Uruguay.
Uruguayan substitution: Figueroa comes on for Surraco. Ferrin is going on the attack now. Hang on...
108': And Valentin gives away a foul just outside the area, and earns a yellow card. Oh great.
109': Figueroa's free kick goes off the wall, but Adu is given a yellow card for leaving the wall too soon and the kick is retaken. Off the wall again, and a corner to Uruguay.
110': The shot off the corner is high and over the bar, and goal kick to USA.
Even if the USA wins, they would have paid a price with the injuries and yellows.
113': Time is ticking by sooooo slowly!
And a yellow card to Ferrari. This is ridiculous. And the American players are still going in hard with a card-happy ref watching. Just great.
116': A beautiful dribbling sequence by Adu draws a free kick, and a yellow card to Román.
Card to Cardaccio, too.
Three minutes to go. What a match.
118': Corner to Uruguay, goalkeeper comes way forward, kick is blocked away, and the US go forward seeking a third goal. Szetela has an open shot, but his chance isn't very good and Irrazabal collects.
One minute of stoppage time to be played.
120'+2: One last rush upfield by Uruguay. Scrambled away by the defender, and...
FULL TIME! USA 2-1 Uruguay. And there's a big scuffle by both sides. Bradley is really incensed by something that happened. Rongen has to push him away. It's not the right way to end this game; it was a hard-fought and physical encounter by two sides that wanted to win. USA go on to the last eight against the winner of Austria-Gambia. But five yellow cards, and those injuries to Seitz and Altidore, are something to think about.