U.S. Falls to Nigeria, 2-1, in Youth Soccer Semifinal

Nigeria edged the United States in overtime and Portugal stunned Brazil Tuesday in the semifinals of the World Youth Soccer Championship in Saudi Arabia.

The U.S. was beaten, 2-1, in Jidda, where Nigeria’s Mutiu Adepoju scored both his country’s goals. The first came in the 48th minute after a scoreless first half. The United States tied the match five minutes later when Steve Snow of Schaumburg, Ill., connected on a penalty kick. Snow earlier had hit the crossbar with a shot.

Three minutes into the 30-minute overtime period, Adepoju scored the game-winner on a header that eluded U.S. goalkeeper Kasey Keller. Nigeria might have won the game in regulation but for Keller’s heroics in the nets, where he time and again thwarted the Nigerian attack.

In the other semifinal in Riyadh, Portugal upset Brazil, handing the South Americans their first defeat in the 16-nation tournament for players under 20 that began Feb.16.


A goal by winger Amaral in the 68th minute, foiled Brazil, which won the championship in 1983 and 1985.

Portugal plays Nigeria, a third-place finisher in 1985, in the final on Friday in Riyadh. The teams met in a first-round match, won, 1-0, by the Portuguese after Nigeria had two players ejected.

The United States plays Brazil for third place just before the championship game. Brazil won an earlier meeting, 3-1.