U.S. turns tables on England 2-0 victory ends 43-year drought

June 10, 1993|By Mike Preston | Mike Preston,Staff Writer

FOXBORO, Mass. -- The U.S. national soccer team sent message to the world last night.

Defender Thomas Dooley and his replacement Alexi Lalas each scored a goal, and American goalkeeper Tony Meola was superb as the United States defeated England, 2-0, in the second game of U.S. Cup '93.

The United States stunned the crowd of 37,652 at Foxboro Stadium with an upset of a team it had not beaten since the 1950 World Cup finals. In four previous games, the Americans had lost to England by a combined score of 29-4.

"This is going to shock a lot of people around the world," said Meola, who finished with 15 saves. "It's not often that you can pick up a newspaper and see that the U.S. beat England in soccer. This is huge."

The win gives the United States (1-1 in the U.S. Cup tournament) a big boost heading into the 1994 World Cup. The United States, which is the host team, was 1-5-9 against other national teams this season. The Americans also had been shut out in their past four games.

But last night was the first time the U.S. team was at full strength with its European-based stars --starting midfielder Tab Ramos (Spain), forward Eric Wynalda (Germany) and Dooley (Germany).

"We were a different team today," said U.S. coach Bora Milutinovic. "Hopefully, we'll be competitive from here on out."

The game was England's third straight shutout loss. English fans criticized coach Graham Taylor after the team suffered a 2-0 upset at Norway last week in a World Cup qualifier.

Taylor met with his team behind closed doors for a little more than 20 minutes last night.

"We are in a battle, aren't we?" asked Taylor. "We've got to stick this out. Of course, this is a low point for England. We never realized that we would hit a row of games like this, but the same thing will happen when we turn it around."

The Americans were the ones who turned it around last night in light of their 2-0 loss to Brazil on Sunday.

The Americans were aggressive. They didn't play long ball, but ball control. And they were creative, enough to have a 1-0 lead at the half.

Dooley scored the goal on a header at the 42nd minute.

The goal was set up by U.S. midfielder Jeff Agoos who sent a crossing pass to Ramos to the right of the goal post. Ramos held the ball long enough for Dooley's defender to leave him unmarked, and then Ramos made the pass to Dooley who headed the ball in from about five yards out.

Lalas, who replaced Dooley with about 23 minutes left in the game, scored on a header off a corner kick from Ramos in the 71st minute.

That goal gave the U.S. team a comfortable margin since Meola was unbeatable, especially in the second half.

He stopped one-on-one opportunities by midfielder Nigel Clough early in the second half, and two from forward Ian Wright in the last six minutes of the game.

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