Originally created 02/20/00

U.S. lose on penalty kicks



MIAMI -- First-time CONCACAF Gold Cup participant Colombia was more than a rude guest to one of the tournament's fixtures on Saturday.

The United States was eliminated, losing to Colombia 2-1 on penalty kicks following a 2-2 tie in their quarterfinal at the Orange Bowl.

The Americans (3-1-1 this year) twice went ahead on goals by Brian McBride in the 20th minute and Chris Armas in the 51st, but the Colombians -- who play either Peru or Honduras in Wednesday's semifinal in San Diego -- tied on goals by Faustino Asprilla in the 24th and Gerardo Bedoya in the 81st.

"We had control to win and we didn't," said U.S. coach Bruce Arena. "I was disappointed with the two goals we gave up, especially the late one."

Looking fatigued while holding a 2-1 advantage in the final stages of the match, the United States allowed Bedoya to unload a 20-yard left-footed shot which beat American goalkeeper Brad Friedel with eight minutes remaining in regulation.

Friedel stopped shots from Faustino Asprilla and Franky Hurtado in the final eight minutes to preserve the tie, and then another from Asprilla in the second 15-minute overtime.

Asprilla also had a free kick hit the left post, while the best U.S. opportunity was a shot by Richie Williams that hit the goalpost in the 94th minute.

"It was the desire to continue," Asprilla said. "From the first minute until the end, we were not going to give up."

Thirty minutes of sudden-death overtime failed to produce a goal, and the U.S. team wound up in penalty kicks for the first time since 1995, when it beat Mexico in the America Cup.

Bonner Mosquera and Gonzalo Martinez beat Friedel, while Eddie Lewis was the only one among five Americans to convert his kick.

Colombia, which missed twice, won when goalkeeper Miguel Calero stopped Ben Olsen on the final U.S. shot.

"The more time we spend in the Gold Cup the better we'll play as a team," Colombia coach Luis Garcia said. "Everybody contributed to this victory."

The loss marked the first time the United States failed to reach the Gold Cup semifinals since the tournament's inception in 1991.

"It's not as if we were looking ahead, but we thought we had a good chance to get to San Diego," Lewis said. "The guys are in disbelief."

The tournament, played biennially, is the championship of soccer's North and Central American region, but also includes at-large invitees from South America and Asia.

The U.S. appeared set to advance before Bedoya's goal.

The U.S. had two one-goal leads during regulation. McBride's goal in the 20th minute, on a header off a pass from Cobi Jones gave the Americans a 1-0 lead.

But Asprilla scored on a 12-yard shot off a cross from Hector Hurtado in the 24th minute. Armas then put the Americans ahead, 2-1, with a 12-yard shot off a header pass from McBride.