KENYA BROWN - Monday, May 22, 2017
The United States Under-20 national team had to fight back in their opening FIFA Under-20 World Cup group game at the Incheon Stadium as they shared the points with Ecuador.
The US would find themselves down a goal five minutes into the game when Ecuador played the down the left side of the field. Washington Corozo made a run into the area with the ball and passed it on to teammate Herlin Lino, who then fired his shot into the open goal.
The Ecuadorians put the US in a more uncomfortable position two minutes later when they added a second tally. Bryan Cabezas took a pass from Jhonny Quinonez and outmuscled Tommy Redding in the area before unleashing his shot towards the near post.
Despite being down two goals, the young Americans would claw their way back into the game.
Josh Sargent cut the deficit with his first goal of the game in the 36th minute. Luca De La Torre made a run with the ball from midfield before passing it on to the forward who then coolly tucked his shot under Jose Cevallos.
The US had to withstand some early pressure in the second half, but Sargent would respond by scoring his second goal in the 54th minute. Brooks Lennon collected the ball on the right side of the field, sent a brilliant cross into the area and Sargent was there to finish off the play with a header that Cevallos could not stop.
However, a blunder by goalkeeper Jonathan Klinsmann would give Ecuador the lead again in the 64th minute. Aaron Herrera's back pass was a bit too much for Klinsmann to handle and he tried to dribble his way out of the pressure that the Ecuadorian attackers were putting on him. His pass out of the area then fell at the feet of Cabezas and he made Klinsmann pay for his mistake by putting the ball in the back of the net.
With game approaching its end, the US got the goal they needed to get a point as De La Torre would score. Lennon placed another great cross into the area and Ecuador failed to clear it well, allowing the midfielder to run and blast his shot into the goal.
The US is currently tied with Ecuador on points after one game in Group F - behind leaders Senegal who earned a 2-0 win over Saudi Arabia.
The team will now prepare for their game against Senegal on Thursday.