KENYA BROWN - Thursday, June 1, 2017
The US Under-20 national team booked their place in the quarterfinals of the FIFA U-20 World Cup on Thursday as they thrashed New Zealand in their round of 16 encounter at the Incheon Stadium.
The young Americans entered the encounter with several players ruled out due to suspension, notably center back Cameron Carter-Vickers who was sent off in the team's final Group F game against Saudi Arabia. However, head coach Tab Ramos made the necessary alterations to guide them to a big win.
Josh Sargent opened the scoring for the US in the 32nd minute, although he probably did not mean to be in the way when teammate Justen Glad took a crack at goal from the Brooks Lennon corner kick.
The US then turned their game up a notch in the second half as they went on to score five unanswered goals to seal their passage to the next stage of the tournament.
Jeremy Ebobisse got his name on the score sheet in the 64th minute when a free kick from the back was headed on by Sargent and the forward would control and turn his defender before unleashing a left-footed shot just inside the area that New Zealand goalkeeper Michael Woud could not stop.
Lennon added a third for the US just seconds later as Eryk Williamson delivered a pass up the right side of the field and the midfielder darted towards the New Zealand goal to slot his shot past Woud.
The game was out of reach at this point, but the US continued their onslaught as Glad finally got his goal in the 76th minute. Lennon's corner kick would find the defender in the area and he delivered a thumping header that Woud could not handle as the ball trickled across the line.
Auston Trusty made it 5-0 in the 84th minute when Sebastian Saucedo directed a low corner kick towards him in the area and the defender unleashed a blistering shot rattled the net.
Lagos Kunga ended the rout in stoppage time with a one-two pass with Luca de la Torre before putting his shot past Woud.
The United States' 6-0 win was not only the largest scoreline of the round of 16, it also tied the team's record for the largest margin of victory at the tournament as they earned a win by the same scoreline against Turkey back in 1993.
The team will now prepare for the quarterfinal game against Venezuela on Sunday at the Jeonju World Cup Stadium in Jeonju, South Korea.