USA thumps Cameroon, 4-1, in Under-20 World Cup

Dilly Duka (

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The U.S. Under-20 national team needed a positive result in its match against Cameroon to keep alive its hopes of reaching the second round of the Under-20 World Cup. The result the Americans earned was far more than just positive. It was emphatic.

The U.S. team overcame a sluggish start to open the scoring late in the first half, before coming out in the second half and adding a second goal just a minute after the interval. Cameroon dominated possession and created chances, but the United States held firm and added two more goals to come away with a 4-1 rout in Egypt on Tuesday (video highlights after the jump).

The victory moved the United States into second place in its group, ahead of Cameroon on goal differential. Germany tied South Korea, 1-1, in the group's other match.

Bryan Arguez opened the scoring for the Americans on a feed from Tony Taylor, who added his own goal at the start of the second half courtesy of a Dilly Duka pass. Duka made it 3-0 when he sent a floating ball from the left flank that snuck under the crossbar and over the Cameroon goalkeeper. Second-half substitute Brian Ownby capped the scoring with a breakaway finish to complete the most unlikely of blowout victories.

The Americans can now secure a berth in the second round with a win against South Korea, though a tie may also be enough to earn qualification.

If you missed the match, here are the highlights:

What did you think of the U.S. team's performance? Impressed with Duka? Change your mind about what you think this team can do in the tournament?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in U.S. Youth National Teams, Under-20 World Cup. Bookmark the permalink.

55 Responses to USA thumps Cameroon, 4-1, in Under-20 World Cup

  1. swabb says:

    The future looks bright! First?

  2. harrybalsac says:

    i was reminded of the last u-20 wc, when the we looked horrible vs s.korea, then found our form, and faired rather well.

  3. GoGunners says:

    After watching the whole game I saw a very uninspiring first half with sloppy play on both sides. 2nd half it seemed like we put together what we were trying to do, taking the Cameroon players pressure and countering it effectively with long balls to the forwards. Good heart after the Germany loss, Good win today. Need a good show against S. Korea. USA all the Way!

  4. Al OC says:

    Ives – do you know who’s the fat guy in the US coaching team (1:32)? I hope he’s not the fitness coach.

    And if I’m not mistaken, Arguez wasn’t called until someone got injured? It would’ve been ugly if he wasn’t there.

  5. David says:

    Wow – Cameroon’s goalie is awful! And their defense was shocking.

    Wish I would have seen the whole match, but disappointingly sounds like it was more sit back and play long balls.

    I wonder how we would do if our coaches let the guys play, called the right guys in (good point above by AI OC about Arguez not initially being called in), and put the right guys on the pitch in the right formation (i.e. unlike against Germany).

    I simply don’t believe that we aren’t talented enough to take the game to our opponents (other than against a handful of teams).

    I support the players and commend them for getting the win in spite of their coaches.

  6. Sninho says:

    I think it’s pretty obvious at this point…

    we should never wear anything other than our All Whites.

  7. Aquaman says:

    As a Norwegian-American, I was upset that Diskerud wasn’t included in the line-up and was not one of the subs. Hopefully he sees some time in the next game. Other than that they showed pretty well against Banana and the other Cameroonians. I was pretty impressed by Opara (if he adds a little more muscle while maintaning the speed an coordination he has he could be really good).

  8. Sean says:

    I am excited to see that the US has a lot of talent coming through the youth level. Brek Shea takes people one on one (though he failed quite a bit on that, we need people like that in the Nats). Taylor was playing a bit out of position (he’s an out and out striker for his college team), so lets have a little patience with him, but he has pace to burn and looks like a younger DMB. Diskerud should have played,but all in all we got the W and Duka scored a redunkulous goal.

  9. gj says:

    Ives, I have a recommendation for you, either you have to widen the middle part of your blog or pick a different size for the youtube video. Right next to the embed area there is a blue circle called customize then pick the 480×295 size.

    Back to the post, great game. Gotta get S.Korea.

  10. Isaac says:

    Duka, Shea, Jeffreys, and Diskerud all seem like guys with bright national team futures.

  11. Streff says:

    I think it’s pretty obvious at this point…

    we should never wear anything other than our All Whites.

    Posted by: Sninho | September 29, 2009 at 10:00 PM

    Thank you. I am glad someone else sees it that way. Not only do the look better with the current uniform, but we always play better in them as well.

    And Cameroon’s defense today reminded me of Nigeria’s defense against us in the Olympics last year. We were three inches away on a Charlie Davies’ header from moving on instead of them. They just had kamikaze defending towards the end of the match while they were needlessly pushing forward for another goal.

    It seemed to me today that the second goal was totally avoidable. Two minutes into the second half, and they were pushed that far forward? Obviously I don’t mind, but it almost looked like they were playing in the 88th minute and not the 47th on that second goal.

  12. DaveyWard says:

    Hopefully Diskerud’s future remains with the US.

  13. Justin O says:

    The saying, “you’re never as good as you look when your winning and never as bad as you look when your losing” (or something like that) is especially true at the U-20 level.

  14. doug says:

    I think we were a bit fortunate but looked more confident.

    The penalty (let alone the yellow) was an absolute farce.

    It’s hard to believe that after the debacle against Germany, that a US win over Korea and a German-Cameroon draw, both possible, could give us top spot in the group.

  15. jai_brooklyn says:

    Seeing the U-20 players for the first time, I was most impressed with Opara. I’m sure scouts are keeping an eye on this guy…

  16. SAY says:

    Why hasn’t anyone talked about hottie Danny Cruz! He reminds me a lot of Charlie Davies…scrappy, fast, technical…………I have to say Brek Shea still disappoints me, the only thing he has is his height, his passing was horrendous.

    Duka really was the engine in midfield, Tony Taylor looks like he’s just playing college soccer and not putting any effort into representing Team USA.

    The center backs Opara and Gabe need to learn how to play with their feet better and positioning. I’m not impressed by Opara and he’s supposedly gonna be the #1 Draft pic in MLS next year potentially.

  17. Alex says:

    Opara is like Gooch w/more pace! Europe is his next spot.

  18. csd says:

    Once again I am thoroughly confused and can’t tell if we are good or bad in an international tournament. Against South Korea it could go 5-0 or 0-5 I have no idea. Saturday in the first half against Germany it was unwatchable with the horrible play today we blow Cameroon away that beat South Korea.

  19. M says:

    If fans throw a banana at Banana Yaya, would it be racist?

  20. firebat says:

    awesome celebration to the first goal, you could see the joy to finally get one after a frustrating game against germany. hopefully they carry the momentum into first place

  21. marksonm says:

    also, opara looks worse with his new hair, the mohawk looked dope on him

  22. Leonardo says:

    yaaa USA! get ’em boys!

    DUKA’s goal was MARVELOUS! holy freakin’ cow wow! what a shot

    i agree with FIREBRAT, “awesome celebration to the first goal” you can’t help but cheer in jubilation after watching that – GO USA!

  23. Dlovell says:

    Interesting game. US had just as many shots and shots on goal but Cameroon dominated possession and was still beat by 3.

    Stand outs: Backline was good in the first half and Opara had a good second half. Cruz looked good and does what he did, hustle. Brian Mullan seems to be rubing off on him. Jeffery/Arguez impressed with control and calmness. Duka was the standout IMO.

    Negatives: Flores and Williams were not as effective in the 2nd half. Taylor is a good forward but he blew a couple chances. This one center forward thing has to stop. These guys just run themselves in the ground as the lone striker. Shea was the guy I was least impressed with. I like him being fearless but there comes a time when you are just losing possession. I rail on Dempsey for pulling the same type of stuff the big boys and Shea, IMO, pulled his best impression of him today.

  24. TBrodie says:

    Duka just got priced right out of MLS’s neighborhood.

  25. USinEGYPT says:

    Arguez had some brilliant moments. I was the most impressed with his play, followed closely by Ike Opara.

  26. Conor Casey's knee says:

    Very impressed with our boys today. They actually played in the middle of the field. Not just longball after longball. I still dont want Rongen as the next coach though.

    Dilly”bar” Duka played a great 2nd half. Honestly though both teams stunk it up in the first half.

    So, if SK beats us and Cameroon ties or beats the germs, kinda crappy that 3 teams would make it out of this group and 1 wouldn’t be us.

  27. Yossarian says:

    Duka looked really, really, really good. Skills and workrate – nice combination except for one terrible touch off a sweet Shea setup. Shea has very impressive skills for such a big guy, but didn’t do much in the air for his size. He could be another big guy who plays small – and therefore is useless (Cooper/ Crouchie), though I hope not.

    some of the worst commentating and coverage ever – missing the second goal, solo commentator who clearly made up his mind before the game that Cameroon was going to win and never, for one moment, adjusted to what was actually happening on the pitch. Even with the U.S. up 3-nil, he was still crowing about how great Cameroon was and how they were about to come back and win.

  28. jpc says:

    from what I saw it was a much better performance. Still shaky holding possession, but it seemed like Cameroon were pressing in the midfield, and leaving space over the top. Which is probably why there were so many balls being played long to open guys, unfortunately they were usually too poor for the open guy to run on to. if they were executed a little better, we could’ve scored 1-2 more goals.

    Does anyone really feel as if they have a good understanding of what this team is capable of? B/C I have no clue. Last cycle there were 4-5 players who you knew had Full National Team futures, this time around, I can’t pick one guy and say he will definitely be on the national team. They are all either complete unknowns, or have big question marks attached to their futures.

  29. Chase says:

    That was one of the most blatant dives I have ever seen, what a disgrace…

  30. Aquaman says:

    I know it’s kind of ridiculous having a guy so tall out on the wings, but I think Shea showed that he’s more of a left mid than a forward. He’s got some speed, willing to take people on and if you track the super blonde mullet-hawk, he was always tracking back to help out the defense. When he was drafted everyone was saying his best position was on the left side, but again, I just don’t know of any other wingers that are 6’3″.

  31. Tom says:

    Does anyone else think Duka’s goal was just a poor cross?? C’mon, American’s don’t even attempt shots like that.

  32. ko'd says:

    It’s open to interpretation, but it looked like a lob to me. The Cameroon goalkeeper was horribly positioned, Duka looked up and saw the keeper’s positioning, and then took a hit–watch Duka’s posture when he hits it–pure hope (not frustration at a bad cross), and he is clearly watching for that ball to go far post.

    In my opinion.

  33. ko'd says:

    Oh, and he is not swinging that ball in or driving it across the goal. He is chipping it. I don’t think you “chip” crosses at that level. But I could be wrong.

  34. he_meant_it says:

    Duka is pure class. Absolutely tore that game apart. Great free kick on the first goal, unbelievable composure and perfect pass on the second, and the third goal.. CHECK YOUR PULSE. With Duka in the middle the team becomes a team. (Think about it)

    Really liked the performances of Arguez and Danny “Silver Bullet” Cruz. Kid gives 150% for 90min. Cant wait for friday.. great win

  35. t.z0n3 says:

    I’m really getting tired of seeing African players dive against our teams. First Pingpong (I know that’s spelled wrong), then this bozo.

    Nice win tho.

  36. DCDeacon says:

    I’m still not convinced Opara even touched that kid in the box. Looked like it was just a dive and the ref bought it.

    Love to see Ike playing well and representing the Demon Deacs. First time I saw him play for Wake as a freshman you could tell he was gonna be really good.

    (SBI-It was a dive but Opara got a handful of jersey and the attacker went down as soon as he felt that.)

  37. DCBrett says:

    Going to have to stick up for Brek Shea, here. I started watching the game having never been impressed with him and left feeling bright things. He’s still a diamond in the rough, but he made some brilliant passes (including one that should have been an easy tap-in goal) and he never seemed to run out of energy — his defensive efforts, tracking back and tackling were spot-on, especially surprising for such a big man.

  38. Aquaman says:

    The question that is always coming to my mind is: I wonder how much attention the college players get from the ladies when they’re like “Sorry, I won’t be in class for about a month, I have to play for the US team in the world cup”…….I’d leave the U-20 part out though, since most college girls wouldn’t know any different.

  39. RK says:

    Is Rongen still a bad coach? Is the 433 still an awful idea? Is Ownby still clueless?

    I did watch the Germany game, and it was awful. I’m not going to pretend that I know the underlying reasons why the US looked so poor (formation? lack of familiarty? no gameplan?) but many of you acted as if you had seen these players 50 times.

    Amazing what a convincing win can do.

  40. yameson says:

    A great game! Duka’s goal was lovely.
    @ Aquaman: Tommy Hutchison was a left winger; Scottish Nat’l Team member who played his club soccer for Coventry City and later the old Seattle Sounders. He was pretty tall, I think (maybe not 6-3). Can’t find the stats, though.

  41. JeffM says:

    Agreed – Duka looked good. But let’s not kid ourselves: that was a cross.

  42. EA says:

    I really liked what Brek Shea brought yesterday. Assuming he practices as he plays, he’s one of those guys that needs to start coming into national team camps soon.

    Not to be considered as a starter, or even in the 18, but to push the starters to perform in camp. I think Beckerman would be great at this as well.

    Did anyone else notice that when Williams went down with an injury, Shea slipped back to RB for a spell, and didn’t miss a beat?

    Well played, youngsters.

    Lastly, Ownby would have been PERFECT for that Gold Cup squad from last summer…. even though he scored a goal. Yikes. Just…. Yikes.

  43. Yossarian says:

    There’s no question in my mind that was a shot, not a cross. Duka picked his head up, looked right at the keeper and chipped it. It was a nice move and well executed, but it was a pretty obvious decision. The keeper was way off his line and any decent attacking player worth his salt is going to shoot the ball in that spot. I don’t understand why the idiotic announcer (well, that I understand – he didn’t want to extend even the smallest amount of credit to the US) or the commenters are so baffled by this.

    BTW the announcer looked right at that penalty replay call and acted like it was entirely legitimate – he was the most useless waste of an accent ever.

    I still wasn’t overwhelmed by the actual talent level for the US, but there are some potential future contributors here, for sure.

  44. Dave says:

    That announcer was the luckiest man on Earth yesterday. I know that if I did the game, I would have said “Banana Yaya” at least once every other sentence the entire match.

    Someone needs to sit that Shea kid down and explain to him that he embarrasses his parents every time he shows his face in public with that haircut.

  45. Mike Caramba says:

    Hopefully we don’t come out playing like a bunch of Banana Yaya against Korea…

  46. elmatador says:

    to me the player of the match was Jorge Flores, we was never caught out of position, pushed forward when he had to, was all over the field and connected some great passes as well. Right now, Jorge Flores is the best we have at LB at any level, mark my words.

  47. Mike Caramba says:

    I dunno what you guys are going to be doing, but I’m going to sit back, relax, throw back a couple Banana Yayas, and watch the game.

  48. Mike Caramba says:

    Do you guys remember that band from the ’80s? I think they were called The Banana Yayas. They were ok.

  49. Tony in Quakeland says:

    Agreed – Duka looked good. But let’s not kid ourselves: that was a cross.

    Posted by: JeffM


    Nope. Obviously some luck was involved, but it was a shot. The kind of shot you take when you’re up by two and feel like everything’s going your way. Yossarian above is absolutely right in his description of the play.

    On another note: I think this is one example were ‘dominating possession’ does not translate into dominating the game. I was very surprised toward the end of the half to see Cameroon has a 55/45 edge. But much of thier possession was well out of the danger zone. The US was content to sit back and their counter attacks were quick, relatively surgical and (often until the las moment) dangerous. This translated into quicker possessions. Even before the first goal, I felt the US looked the better side. At least they had a clear idea what they wanted to do.

  50. BrianK says:

    A few thoughts:

    1. If the Cameroonian player’s name was Banana YOYO,…then he would be a perfect fit for the Red Bulls.

    2. Nice to see the USA pull it together after a tough loss to Germany. Says a lot about the character of the team and the confidence of the players WHO STARTED the Cameroon match.

    3. On Rongen: Two points (1) Can his judgment be so poor that he failed to identify Arguez, Duka and Cruz as starters BEFORE the tournament? Clearly, the man has problems assessing talent, hence the whole Subotic fiasco. Which leads me to my second point,…which should be the last word on Rongen (2) he is very much like a store-front preacher in a poor neighborhood, who NEED and WANT to perpetuate the squalor so they have something to preach about so they can collect donations at their ‘churches.’ Not so long ago I exchanged emails with a soccer writer who went on and on about Thomas Rongen said that the US players lack skill, they lack techical ability, they lack composure on the ball, they lack this, that and the other thing. Well it occurred to me that Rongen is really just a store-front preacher dressed in a track suit. He tells everyone at the USSF all about the US players limitations and how far behind we are on this front and that front. But his message is clear,…..YOU NEED ME TO TRAIN AND COACH THESE PLAYERS TO MAKE THEM BETTER (because I need a job!). He is the Music Man. We got trouble,…right here in River City! Rongen wants to sell the USSF his band equipment!

    I realize the USA players have limitations,…but I would rather have a coach who believes that their is an upside to the players and believes in what Sir Alex Ferguson refers to as “that American thing.”

  51. usadcu says:

    Brek Shea is not going to Barca in the next transfer window and he is not going to make the 2010 WC team on current form, but he attacks well, tracks back, gets in some good crossses and rarely loses the ball in dangerous areas. Personally, I don’t mind too much if an attacking player sometimes loses the ball while trying to put his team in a scoring position. I haven’t been overly impressed with him before, and I think his hair is ridiculous, but, IMO, he has been one of the top 5 or 6 US players in the first two games. For the Diskerud fans, how did we miss him in this game – who would you have left out of the game to give him minutes?

  52. Mike says:

    Quote from Duka:

    “It was a pretty nice goal. I received the ball from Brek Shea and got it down the line, then a [defender] came over to pressure me,” the former Scarlet Knight recalled. “I was seeing the coaches on the bench [signaling that] the keeper is out. I decided to chip one and it went in.”

    “When I chipped it, it was flying high and saw the path where the ball was going and thought, ‘alright it’s in.’. It was a great goal, I’m very happy and it put us up [3-0]. I’m excited”

    That should hopefully put that to rest.

  53. Aquaman says:

    I would have put Diskerud in for Taylor, easily.

  54. Zoti says:

    Does anyone else think Duka’s goal was just a poor cross?? C’mon, American’s don’t even attempt shots like that.

    Posted by: Tom | September 30, 2009

    I think you answered you own question Tom, Duka is not American.

  55. celangto3 says:

    Duka is Lying.He knew he had to cross it but rather try to make it for his own benefit. Lucky it went in. But that was not the case with Korea. Because of selfishnes we lost a game with Korea.