Second-Half Rally Lifts U.S. Past Paraguay

From Staff and Wire Reports

Powered by goals from Major League Soccer's Ed Johnson, Mike Magee and Bobby Convey, the United States rallied to defeat Paraguay, 3-1, Saturday in its first game of the FIFA World Youth Championship in the United Arab Emirates.

The victory, combined with South Korea's 2-0 win over Germany, left the Americans in first place in their group in the 24-nation tournament for players 20 and younger.

Paraguay took the lead on a goal by Julio Dos Santos in the fifth minute after being awarded a free kick after goalkeeper Steve Cronin fouled Nelson Valdez just outside the penalty area.

The U.S., which had only eight shots to 11 for Paraguay and only one corner kick to the South Americans' six, clawed back in Al-Nahyan Stadium at Abu Dhabi.

Dallas Burn forward Johnson tied the match on a header off a Santino Quaranta pass in the 53rd minute.

New York/New Jersey MetroStar forward Magee gave the U.S. the lead in the 68th minute off the rebound of a Johnson shot and D.C. United midfielder Convey made it 3-1 with a left-foot blast 12 minutes later.

"The guys didn't give in and came out in the second half and played excellent," U.S. Coach Thomas Rongen said. "It was a remarkable effort and a crucial win."

The U.S. next plays Germany Tuesday.

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