SOCCER : Late Goal Gives U.S. a 1-1 Tie With Dutch Club

From Associated Press

John Harkes scored on a pass from teammate Bruce Murray in the 84th minute Saturday night to give the United States a 1-1 tie with Ajax of Amsterdam in an exhibition soccer game.

Harkes’ shot from 12 yards out eluded the reach of Ajax goalkeeper Sjaak Storm.

Ajax, the 1990 Dutch Division One champion, took a 1-0 lead 15 minutes into the match when Ronald de Boer picked up a loose ball in the U.S. penalty area and rifled a shot past American goalkeeper Kasey Keller.

The play was set up when Keller mishandled a playback pass by teammate Paul Caligiuri, and the ball came loose to de Boer.


Despite trailing much of the way, the United States (6-6-1 in exhibitions) dominated the first five minutes of the match, as well as the final 20 minutes of the contest.

With 13 minutes to play, Chris Sullivan just missed wide, and Steve Trittschuh just missed on a tip seconds later.

In the 80th minute, the United States had another opportunity when Peter Vermes was pushed down 15 yards from the net by Mark Verkuijl of Ajax. But Tab Ramos’ shot on the restart was knocked down by the Ajax wall.

The United States got the tying goal four minutes later when Bruce Murray headed a pass to Harkes 25 yards from the Ajax goal.

Harkes dribbled to the left of the penalty area and chipped a shot past Storm for his third goal of the exhibition season.

The United States closes its exhibition season May 20 at New Haven, Conn., against Partisan Belgrade, a Yugoslav club team. The Americans begin first-round play in the World Cup tournament on June 10 at Florence, Italy, against Czechoslovakia.