USA U17 v British Columbia U16 – Game 2
In an incredible turnaround from the previous day and a 5-3 win to the USA, a very poor performance saw the USA team humbled 5-1 against a revived BC team.
A lethargic USA team took to the field with clear instructions on how to play the game. The intensity that was required was never really achieved and it was a buoyant and aggressive BC team that made the running in the opening exchanges.
Apart from a fantastic opportunity for Ja Ja Kentwell in the 3rd minute when a one on one with the goalkeeper was not converted, it was a heavy BC attacking press that prevailed. Andrew Davis in goal made a great save in the 8th minute from a hard shot, but BC broke the deadlock in the 9th minute from some persistent work along the by-line and a narrow angled shot.
USA struggled to get the ball out of their defensive half, and conceded a penalty corner in the 10th minute after a turnover. Of the few attacking opportunities the USA were afforded, a good reverse shot from Tyler Sundeen in the 14th minute was nicely dealt with by the BC keeper. The only other opportunity for the USA came in the 15th minute from a Penalty Corner, but the feature of the rest of the half was intense pressure on the USA defensive unit. Sander Cummings received a green card in the 18th minute from an over-zealous challenge and the pressure caused the USA to crack in the 25th minute when a very risky diagonal pass out of defense was intercepted by the BC centre forward who made no mistake dispatching BC’s second goal.
BC could have gone into the 2nd half with a 3-0 lead after hitting the cross bar with a penalty corner in the 29th minute. A tough end to the half was spent with 10 players for the USA after a yellow card for Sander Cummings.
At half time, a call for greater attention to detail and heightened effort from the young USA side fell on deaf ears as they conceded that third goal in the very first minute of the 2nd half from a direct attack through the heart of the USA defense.
A jaded and dejected USA side fell further behind in the 38th minute from a Penalty Corner that was charged down, but the subsequent rebound was dispatched by BC to make the score 4-0. The USA started to ring the changes as BC earned Penalty Corners in the 41st and 45th minute.
It wasn’t until the 54th minute that the USA made any inroads into the score line with Ajai Dhadwal rebounding a penalty corner strike to make the score 4-1.
The resurgence was very short lived as BC hit back with a fifth goal a minute later from a long breakaway counter-attack. BC should have made it six in the 60th minute when a clear one on one with the goalkeeper was squandered.
The final 10 minutes were very tough as both teams were reduced to 10 players with Sander Cummings picking up his 2nd yellow card from a reckless challenge for the USA.
The USA worked hard in the final minutes with a good shot from Ja Ja Kentwell and a Penalty Corner being sent wide in the last 5 minutes. The game ended a resounding 5-1 win to BC – an incredible turnaround from the previous day.
This was a lackluster performance from the USA U17 side, which leveled the series. They will be looking for a much improved and determined performance against an improving and physical BC team tomorrow morning in the series decider.