US falls to Italy at Under 17 World Cup

Published Wednesday, November 4, 2009 8:32 AM by Roberto Garcia

When the US boys and coaches look back on this one it is going to hurt.  Several glorious chances were left unfinished and the Americans fell 2-1 to an Italian team that only managed 3 shots on goal all match.    Italy started on the front foot and were giving the US trouble in the midfield early on, but it was the Americans who would get the big chance to open the scoring.

A long throw in was misplayed in the Italian box and a handball was called on Federico Mannini giving the US a penalty kick.  Jack McInerney stepped up and fired a low blast to the left corner of the net.  Italy keeper Francesco Bardi guessed corectly and pushed the ball away keeping the game tied.  Not surprisingly the Italians were energized by the save and ten minutes later they had the lead.

Pietro Iemmello  pushed a header behind the American center backs where Giacomo Beretta was running to finsh past Earl Edwards.  Italy continued to push as the American team was clearly lacking composure from the turn of events.  Italy had another goal called back offside and the match went to overtime 1-0 to Italy.

The US Under 17s jumped out of the gates to start the second half of play and were all over Italy winning several set pieces and peppering the goal.  Luis Gil beat a pair of defenders and set up Jack McInerney, but his shot hit the crossbar and bounced away.  Soon after the US would tie the game from a corner kick.   Nick Palodichuk outjumped the Italian defense and headed in from the six.

Italy would answer back though as Pietro Iemmello turned inside and fired a shot from just outside the box that beat Earl Edwards for the lead.  The US would go right back on the attack though and should have evened the match at two when Victor Chavez was played in 1v1 with the Italy keeper, but his shot rolled just wide.  Luis Gil had a chance in the dying minutes but found his shot saved.

It was not too much different than the previous three games for the Americans.  Plenty of possession.  Plenty of attacking soccer.  Lots of chances created.  Unfortunately, the finish often left more to be desired.