- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 11, 2002

From combined dispatches
DAEGU, South Korea Brad Friedel had the game of his life, his finest moment. And he didn't even win.
With the United States desperately fighting off South Korea yesterday, Friedel not only made half a dozen sparkling saves, he became the first goalkeeper to save an in-game penalty kick during the World Cup since at least 1994, getting the Americans a 1-1 tie against the deflated Red Devils.
"Friedel was the man of the match," U.S. coach Bruce Arena said.
Before the tournament, Arena said it was possible he would split the first two games between Friedel and Kasey Keller, the top U.S. goalkeeper at the 1998 World Cup.
Friedel was the regular all season for Blackburn Rovers, and Keller only gained the starting job at English Premier League rival Tottenham Hotspur for the final seven games of the season.
While Friedel got the start in last Wednesday's 3-2 win over Portugal, Arena wouldn't say who would play against South Korea, a pressure-filled game with 61,000 screaming fans making it hard for a goalkeeper to communicate with his defenders.
Arena didn't rotate, instead sticking with Friedel because the coach felt it would be a day he'd need fancy footwork between the posts. Friedel is better at blocking balls with his beefy legs than the more stringy and springy Keller.
Friedel parried Kim Nam-il's 30-yard chip with his fingertips in the 10th minute, then made his coach look like an oracle with a left-footed kick save on Seol Ki-hyeon's ball from the side in the 20th minute.
In the 40th minute, he made a super stop on Seol's point-blank shot. But Agoos was called for dumping Hwang Sun-hong in the penalty area as Eddie Pope tumbled into the players.
Friedel dived to his right and parried away Lee Eul-yong's penalty kick, and Kim's shot off the rebound went wide.

Mathis scores in debut
Clint Mathis scored in his World Cup debut, and on one of the first times he touched the ball.
"Somebody on the U.S. team had to do it," the newly shorn attacker said after the 1-1 tie against South Korea, which put the Americans within one point of a berth in the second round.
Mathis, who didn't play in the opener, took a pass from John O'Brien, trapping the ball with his right foot and shooting it with his left.


Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide