With the United States desperately needing points at the U-17 World Cup in Chila, Chula Vista native Brandon Vazquez stepped up and scored for the U-17 Men’s National Team in what was ultimately a disappointing 2-2 draw with Croatia on Tuesday.
- Video highlights at bottom of page
The U.S. (0-1-1, 1 point) jumped out to promising start just 20 minutes into the match when San Diego native Luca de la Torre won a 50-50 ball in the Croatia half and played a ball through traffic to Christian Pulisic, who was able to shake off a defender. Pulisic dribbled into the box and fired a low curling shot into the far post.
The U.S. doubled its lead just before the half on Vazquez’s header from a Pulisic cross on the touchline in the 40th minute.
With a comfortable two-goal lead at the half it looked like the U.S. would be able to secure all three points, however, Croatia, who also needed points, attacked the U.S. with numbers and caught a break in the 65th minute on a fortunate ball that landed in the path of Karlo Majic for an easy goal.
Croatia continued to attack with numbers and scored the equalizer in the 77th minute when Jospi Brekalo dribbled through three U.S. defenders before he played a square ball to Luka Ivanusec at the top of the box. Ivanusec hit a low shot past U.S. goalkeeper Will Pulisic.
The U.S. will need to bounce back and secure all three points in the final group stage match against hosts Chile on Friday, October 23 at 7 p.m. ET. The match will appear on Fox Sports 2 and NBC Universo.