USA through to next phase
The USA qualified for the Round of 16 at the FIFA U-17 World Cup Korea 2007 with a 2-0 victory over Belgium in their last Group E match at the Cheonan Sports Complex on Sunday 26 August. The win saw the young Americans finish second in their group, while also spelling the end of the road for the Belgians, who finished bottom of the table.
The US team got off to a furious start and almost opened the scoring in the first minute, but captain Mykell Bates saw his point-blank effort saved by Jo Coppens in the Belgian goal. Coach John Hackworth's youngsters continued to create chances but again Coppens came to the rescue of the European side, pulling out some impressive saves to deny Ellis McLoughlin and Billy Schuler. The Belgian keeper again proved his mettle in an incredible turn of events - his opposite number Josh Lambo hit a long goal kick which kicked up off the wet turf and was heading for the back of the Belgian net until Coppens tipped it over the bar.
The pouring rain did nothing to dampen the fighting spirit of the two teams, and in the 36 th minute, Belgian centre-forward Christian Benteke was shown the red card for a challenge on Sheanon Williams. Despite being down to ten men, however, Belgium managed to keep the match goalless up until half-time.
The sun emerged for the second half but the course of the game remained much the same, with USA making all the play. Alex Nimo waltzed through the opposition defence only to see his shot go just wide, but in the 63 rd minute, the breakthrough finally came. Substitute Kirk Urso opened the scoring from a narrow angle, and seven minutes later, Bates doubled USA's lead, heading home from a corner and sending his side into the last 16.