US Under 20s get past Fluminense in overtime

Published Friday, April 18, 2014 11:12 PM by Shane Barrow
US Under 20s get past Fluminense in overtime

The second Friday night Dallas Cup Super Group semifinal offered a real treat as Brazilian powers Fluminense lined up against the United States Under 20 National Team coached by former American star Tab Ramos.

Fluminense got the better of the earlier exchanges in the match but it was the USA that got the opening goal in the 14th minute of play.  The Americans caught Fluminense on a counter after a Shaquell Moore clearance.  Zachary Pfeffer slipped a diagonal ball for Ben Spencer Jr who let the ball run to the back post where the onrushing Rubio Ruben slotted the goal.  Nice counter.

Just three minutes later the lead was 2-0 as a perfectly curled free kick from Romain Gall found the head of big Ben Spencer Jr who finished easily.  And in the space of a couple minutes the entire match was flipped on its head.

Just before halftime Fluminense  jumped right back into the match though.  A low cross was turned home by Euller Rodrigues.  Game on for the second 45 now!

The match took a further turn in the 49th minute when Erik Palmer-Brown was shown his second yellow for kicking a dead ball away.  Silly. Silly.

The Americans changed to a 4-4-1 formation and bunkered in.  For forty minutes they absorbed attack after attack from Fluminense.  The defending of US center backs Robert Amick and Matthew Miazga was simply fabulous.  Finally, when it looked like all was lost for Fluminense they got the tying goal.  In the third minute of stoppage time a cross from Pereira found Euller Rodrigues deep in the US penalty area for the diving header.

A worthy finish to send the game into overtime at 2-2.  The US U20s came out attacking in the first overtime and Jordan Allen almost put them in front in the 93rd minute but his curling shot came back off the post.  Then the match took another turn. Fluminense's Derian Bento was given his 2nd yellow 96th and suddenly the two teams were even on ten men each.

The US kept on the attack and in the 102nd minute Jordan Allen was pulled down in the Fluminense penalty area for a pk.  Rubio Rubin stepped up for the spot kick and had it saved by young keeper Gomes.  Unfortunately he left a fat rebound that Rubin easily tucked home for the winner.  The American's work was not done though.  Three minutes from time Danilo dos Santos got in behind the US defense and raced in on a breakaway.  American keeper Jesus Vazquez blocked the shot though and the US Under 20s were on to the Dallas Cup XXXV Super Group final.  What an effort winning a match after playing almost an hour with ten men.