SOCCER : U.S. Team Gets a Scoreless Tie With Hungary
The United States soccer team stretched its winless streak to six games Wednesday night, playing a scoreless tie against Hungary in the three-nation Kirin Cup.
The United States (0-1-5) outshot Hungary, 14-10, before 15,000 fans in Mizuho Stadium. Defender Thomas Dooley was in the lineup for the U.S. team for the first time since August, and midfielder Hugo Perez played for the first time since October.
The U.S. team was helped when Hungarian defender Emil Lorincz was ejected 36 minutes into the first half because of rough play.
“This was a very good team we played today,” U.S. sweeper Marcelo Balboa said. “We were definitely shocked in the first 15 minutes with their ability to pass the ball with precession and penetrate our defense, but once we regrouped and gained confidence, the game changed and they showed some frustration.”
Hungary, which defeated Japan, 1-0, on Sunday, is third in Group Five of European World Cup qualifying with a 1-1-1 record, trailing Greece and Russia. Japan begins play April 8 in Asian qualifying, while the U.S. team automatically qualifies for the 24-nation final as the host nation. The United States plays Japan Sunday at Tokyo and must win by at least two goals to win the Kirin Cup.