ENSCHEDE, Netherlands (AP) – Freddy Adu’s missed penalty kick didn’t stop the United States from upsetting tournament favorite Argentina 1-0 Saturday in Group D of the World Youth Championship.

Chad Barrett scored the winning goal in the 39th minute with a bouncing header that hit the roof of the net past goalkeeper Oscar Ustari.

“It’s a great victory. I couldn’t care if I had 10 goals or none, we still won,” said Adu, already a star at 16 but still the youngest player of the under-20 tournament.

“It was so sweet,” he added. “I knew we could win if we kept it together, and we did.”

Adu could have put the game away in the 70th minute, but his penalty kick hit the inside of the post. Apart from the foul that forced the penalty and the subsequent miss, Adu had little impact on the game.

“It was the best game to miss a penalty,” Adu said.

Argentina’s Gustavo Oberman also hit the post in the 19th minute with a drive that had United States goalkeeper Quentin Westberg well beaten.

“This is a huge win for the U.S. Under 20s,” United States coach Sigi Schmid said.

Despite dominating the midfield and Lionel Messi adding sparkle, the Argentines failed to convert their chances, sorely missing striker Hernan Peirone, who was left back home.

Messi, surprisingly kept on the bench for the first half, and Adu are both vying to become the tournament’s top star.

“I don’t know if I beat Adu, but he got the three points today,” the FC Barcelona midfielder said.

The win puts the United States in position to advance from the toughest group in the competition. In the other Group D game, Germany beat Egypt 2-0.

“There’s no excuse for this defeat,” Messi said.

The U.S. defenders earned much of the credit because of their grit and fighting spirit, especially after their main man, Jonathan Spector of Manchester United, had to limp off with a right thigh strain in the 37th minute.

For Adu, it was a measure of revenge after Argentina eliminated the U.S. team at the World Youth Championship two years ago, when he made his debut at 14.

“It is so sweet,” he said, flashing a smile.

Germany, which leads the Americans on goal difference, got goals from substitute Nicky Adler in the 75th and Marvin Matip in injury time.

In other games, China upset Group B favorite Turkey 2-1 with a goal in injury time, and Ukraine beat Panama 3-1. In Group C, favorite Spain downed Morocco 3-1 while Chile crushed Honduras 7-0.

In Utrecht, Xuri Zhao scored with a powerful shot from about from 30 yards with time running out.

“We were a little bit lucky at the end today,” China coach Eckhard Kraut said.

Wangsong Tan gave China the lead in the 17th minute, but Turkey tied the score in the 84th when substitute Gokhan Gulec scored off a rebound.

“The last goal was a disappointment for us, but there are things like this in soccer,” Turkey coach Senol Ustaomer said.

Chile dominated the badly outclassed Honduras from the start, with Ricardo Parada and Jose Fuenzalinda each scoring two goals each.

AP-ES-06-11-05 1726EDT


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