England overcame Chile's top-notch defense to advance to the semifinals of the Mundial Tel Aviv with a 3-2 victory yesterday. Earlier in the evening, the glamour came off Team USA, which went down 4-2 against Argentina.
The England-Chile match looked to be an uphill battle for the European side. The South American squad has probably been the most exciting team seen so far, with a tiki-taka play very similar to Barcelona. They were also the best attack and the best defense (26-3 ) of the group stage.
Chile's Elu Frajlich struck first, but Lewis Kaye for England equalized almost immediately. Chile went up 2-1 just before halftime with captain Jony Salaberry scoring. The tone changed in the second half as English captain Motti Colman not only executed the perfect strategy but scored the precious 2-2 equalizer with a great shot. England kept the pressure high and won with a lucky own goal by a Chilean defender.
The first match of the night pitted the tournament's second-best attack against the second-best defense. Team USA scored 21 goals in the group stage, while only six goals were taken by the Argentines so far.
But the American team lacked its usual precision, while Argentina found a top scorer in Diego Mayo. Argentina, one of the underdogs of this tournament, came out on top 4-2 thanks to excellent organization and good ball possession for most of the game.
Mayo netted three goals, while for Team USA the scoring was split between Adam Jaffe and Michael Greenberg. Diana Redman, back from the national women's team's trip to Europe, and her teammates had some good chances, but Gil Cohen, the Argentine goalkeeper, was in great form.
In the third game, Nigeria beat Germany 10-3 behind a hat-track by Awala Magallan, who now leads the tournament with 14 goals. Nigeria faces Argentina in the semis. The last semifinalist is Israel, which beat Mexico 6-1 and will meet England next.
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