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Thursday, January 18, 2007
Akpan leads U.S. U-20 rout of Haiti

Behind a hat trick from forward Andre Akpan, the U.S. U-20 men's national team opened Group A of the 2007 CONCACAF Final Round Qualifying Tournament with a 4-1 victory over Haiti at Rommel Fernandez Stadium in Panama City, Panama. The U.S. sits atop the group with three points.

Playing in his first international match with the U-20s, Akpan dominated on the night. He headed home the opening goal in the 26th minute, before tapping home a Danny Szetela corner kick in the first half and a cross from Robbie Rogers in the second. Anthony Wallace also scored three minutes into the second half. The lone goal for Haiti came on a penalty kick in the 73rd minute.

"We didn't start off the match as well as we would have liked, but overall we did well to get two goals in the first half and that really allowed us to control the rest of the game," said U.S. Under-20 head coach Thomas Rongen. "I think we all realize that, in tournament play, the first game is very important and it puts us clearly in a good position. There are still two very important matches to be played and our focus now is on Guatemala. We understand that each game will become tougher and tougher for us, so we're satisfied with the result, but we've got a lot of hard work still ahead of us."


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