Friday, June 5, 2015

5 June 2002 - Both Teams Were Generous To A Fault

On 5 June 2002, the United States opened their World Cup campaign with a shocking 3-2 win over Portugal at South Korea's Suwon World Cup Stadium. It was the Yanks' only win in the group stage, but was enough to see them through to the knockout rounds, while Portugal failed to advance.

Going into the tournament, Portugal were heavy favorites to win the group, which in addition to the United States also included South Korea and Poland. But the US shook their confidence early when midfielder John O'Brien (pictured) scored in the 4th minute from a corner kick. Portugal then shot themselves in the foot with a 30th-minute own goal from star center back Jorge Costa, who deflected a Landon Donovan shot off of his shoulder and into the net. Six minutes later, striker Brian McBride extended the lead to 3-0 with a header.

The Portuguese, however, fought back. Defender Beto scored a 39th-minute goal, then their constant pressure in the second half resulted in an own goal from US defender Jeff Agoos in the 71st minute. But they could not find the needed equalizer and finished with a 3-2 loss.

Portugal beat Poland 4-0, but lost to South Korea 0-1 to finish third. The US drew with eventual group winners South Korea, then lost to Poland to finish second and advance to the knockout rounds. They proceeded to enjoy their best run in a World Cup since 1930, advancing to the quarterfinals, where they lost 1-0 to Germany.

No comments:

Post a Comment