CAPE TOWN, Nov 17 (Reuters) - Teenage debutant Juan Agudelo
struck five minutes from time to hand the United States a 1-0
win over South Africa in their friendly in Cape Town on
Agudelo, who turns 18 next week, scored from close range
after being fed through by another new cap, Norwegian-born
Mikkel Diskerud to hand South Africa their first defeat in four
matches since hosting the World Cup in June and July.
"I'm speechless, I don't know what to say," said the
"As I saw the ball go in, I didn't believe it, I thought it
was going to get called back for offside or something.
"I really, truly didn't believe it. So many people are here
watching me and I score the goal. It's an amazing feeling,"
added the forward, fast tracked from the U.S. under-17 side to
the senior squad for the friendly in front of a sell-out crowd
of 52,000 at the Green Point Stadium.
Agudelo, one of five new caps in the U.S. side, only made
his senior debut for New York Red Bull towards the end of the
U.S. coach Bob Bradley said the teenager had made an impact
then and "so we thought this was an opportunity to bring him
into his first national team camp".
"We had a plan to use him as a sub in the second half. We
think there is something there and we are excited to work with
With both sides electing to play a host of fringe players,
the match provided few real chances although it was dominated by
the midfield toil of Steven Pienaar, captaining South Africa for
the first time.
The hosts handed a debut to striker Davide Somma, born in
Johannesburg but raised in the U.S., and he was involved in a
sharp one-two inside the first quarter-hour with full-back Anele
Ngcongca, who came storming down the right flank but had his
effort on goal smothered by American goalkeeper Brad Guzan.
U.S. captain Guzan made a similar stop off his line to deny
Bernard Parker in the 20th minute as Bafana Bafana picked up the
The U.S. had their first effort after 22 minutes when Robbie
Rogers shot unmarked from the edge of the area but it was saved.
A bevy of second-half changes meant the game lost some of
its sting and as Pienaar tired so even more of the tempo was
The Everton midfielder did have a mazy run after picking up
on a loose ball in the 72nd minute but his shot was half-blocked
in South Africa's best chance of the second half.
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