By RYAN TOLMICH
Through the game’s first 70 minutes, the U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team looked to be well on their way to their second 0-0 draw of the 20th Lisbon International Tournament. However, due to a pair of opposition substitutes, the final 20 minutes proved to be the team’s undoing.
The U.S. fell to hosts Portugal, 2-0, in their second game of the tournament Sunday behind a pair of late-game scores from second-half substitute Goncalo Guedes.
The two sides struggled through the first 45 minutes with neither team asserting themselves early. A wave of substitutes were made by Portugal in the 63rd minute, turning the game on its head with the introduction of Hildeberto Pereira, who created both goals for fellow substitute Guedes.
The game’s opening score came in the 71st minute when Hildeberto’s initial shot was parried by U.S. goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski, only for Guedes to swoop in to give his side the 1-0 lead. Guedes and Hildeberto combined for round two in stoppage time, when Hildeberto cut in from the end line to find a streaking Guedes for the final insurance goal.
With the loss, the U.S. falls to 0-1-1 in the tournament after drawing 0-0 with Norway in the competition’s opening game. The team still does have a mathematical chance of emerging as champions, needing a four goal win in Tuesday’s contest with Sweden coupled with a draw between Portugal and Norway.
Here’s a look at the U-18 USMNT’s starting XI vs. Portugal:
U-18 USMNT: 12-JT Marcinkowski; 3-Malcolm Jones (10-Sebastian Elney, 77), 5-Tommy Redding (capt.)(15-Quentin Pearson, 45), 6-Mauricio Pineda, 8-Chase Gasper; 7-Ben Swanson, 14-Cameron Lindley (17-Maduabuchi Obinwa, 77), 20-Sebastian Saucedo, 4-Demakwi Yomba (13-Brooks Lennon, 59), 9-Coy Craft (2-Mukwelle Akale, 45) (11-Collin Fernandez, 63), 16-Rubio Rubin
Subs not used: 1-Jonathan Klinsmann
What do you think of team’s performance thus far? Think the U.S. can still emerge as champions?
Share your thoughts below.