KENYA BROWN - Tuesday, June 2, 2015
A pair of goals by Rubio Rubin helped the United States Under-20 national team thrash host nation New Zealand 4-0 to book its place in the knockout stages of the U-20 World Cup.
The Americans had their work cut out for them as more than 15,000 New Zealand fans were on hand at the North Harbor Stadium in Auckland to support the Junior All Whites. However, under-20 head coach Tab Ramos had his team well-prepared.
The U.S. got off to a much better start in the early stages of the game compared with their first Group A encounter against Myanmar and it paid off as Rubin scored the team's first goal in the sixth minute. Off a corner taken by captain Emerson Hyndman, Bradford Jamieson collected the ball on the right side and sent it towards the far post of the goal. Rubin was in the right place at the right time to direct the ball into the goal to give the U.S. the early lead.
The team had to wait until the 34th minute for their next goal and it the combination of Rubin, Jamieson and Hyndman once again providing the offense. Jamieson would bring down the ball and pass it to Rubin who held on to it just outside the box. The forward tried to take a shot, but it was blocked by a New Zealand defender. However, the captain was not far behind and he fired his shot past goalkeeper Oliver Sail to give the U.S. a 2-0 lead.
The U.S. maintained their domination into the second half and were rewarded with another goal in the 58th minute. Gedion Zelalem provided the pass to Paul Arriola who fired a shot at goal that bounced off the left post an across the goal line.
The Group A leaders rounded out the scoring in the 83rd with Rubin's second goal on the day. Substitute Tommy Thompson would play the ball to Desevio Payne who came into the area. Payne then sent an excellent pass to Rubin which he tapped in for the fourth goal.
The Americans remain atop of Group A with six points and can breathe easy as they are now assured a place in the next round of the tournament.
The U.S. play their final group game on Friday against Ukraine in Auckland.