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USA stuns Brazil to enter second round

CELEBRATION TIME: USA’s Ofori Sarkodie (right) celebrates with his teammates Michael Bradley (left) and Danny Szetela the team’s 2-1 win over Brazil.

CELEBRATION TIME: USA’s Ofori Sarkodie (right) celebrates with his teammates Michael Bradley (left) and Danny Szetela the team’s 2-1 win over Brazil.   | Photo Credit: — Photo: AFP

Jozy Altidore scores a brace to secure win

Ottawa: Jozy Altidore scored a goal in each half and gave the United States a 2-1 victory over Brazil on Friday, sending the Americans to the second round of the Under-20 World Cup and possibly eliminating the four-time champion.

The New York Red Bulls forward put the United States ahead in the 12th minute and, after Leandro Lima tied the match in the 64th minute, converted off a deflection in the 81st to finish the Americans atop Group D with seven points.

The U.S. moves on to the round-of-16 and will face a third-place team from one of the other groups in Toronto on Wednesday.

The result left Brazil — which also lost to Poland in its opener — with just three points and hoping to secure one of four berths reserved for third-place teams.

With thousands in the capacity crowd of 26,500 dressed in the famous yellow of the Canarinhos, the Americans faced a partisan atmosphere at Frank Clair Stadium.

Early chances

Both teams had early chances, but it was the U.S. that capitalised first when Altidore dispossessed Renato Augusto at midfield.

While the Brazilian fell looking for a whistle from Spanish referee Alberto Undiano Mallenco, Altidore dribbled to the edge of the penalty area and fired a low, angled drive that eluded keeper Cassio.

Brazil became energised in the second half, and Alexandre Pato threatened when he broke in behind the U.S. back four, but his attempt to chip nestled into the side netting.

Instead, the Brazilians settled for brute force for the equaliser. U.S. goalkeeper Chris Seitz couldn’t hang on to Augusto’s hard volley from the top of the penalty area and before the Real Salt Lake keeper could smother the rebound, Lima outmuscled a defender and poked it across the goalline.

But just when it looked like Brazil had done enough, the U.S. cashed in on one of its rare forays into Brazil territory in the second half. Freddy Adu dribbled in from the right and soon Altidore scored into an open net.

The results: U-20 World Cup: USA 2 (Altidore 2) bt Brazil 1 (Lima); Argentina 1 (Aguero) bt Korea DPR 0; Czech Republic 2 (Kalouda, Strestik) bt Panama 1 (Barahona); Poland 1 (Janczyk) drew with Korea Republic 1 (Lee). — Agencies

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