U-20 World Cup Recap: United States 1 - 0 Ecuador
A late winner gives the U.S. U20s a 1-0 victory in their Group Stage opener!
Mikey Varas and the United States U-20 squad began their FIFA Under-20 World Cup campaign as they faced Ecuador inside the Estadio San Juan del Bicentenario in San Juan, Argentina.
Varas rolled out a 3-4-3 formation to get the Group Stage started as Chelsea’s Gaga Slonina started in goal. Louisville City’s Joshua Wynder, TSG Hoffenheim’s Justin Che, and Philadelphia Union’s Brandan Craig provided the defense.
Atlanta United’s Caleb Wiley, Seattle Sounders’ Obed Vargas, Philadelphia’s Jack McGlynn, and Real Sociedad’s Jonathan Gomez were in the middle as Philadelphia’s Quinn Sullivan, Real Salt Lake’s Diego Luna, and Austin FC’s Owen Wolf were up top.
There was little to no action in the first half as neither side generated much offense as things stayed scoreless entering halftime. Wiley came close to finding the opener in the 55th minute as he attempted to slot a left-footed shot centrally, but Gilmar Napa was all over it as the Ecuadorian keeper came up with the save.
The United States’ first substitution came in the 65th minute as Colorado Rapids’ Darren Yapi replaced Sullivan. Another substitution came in the 71st minute as New York Red Bulls’ Daniel Edelman came on for Vargas.
Yapi looked to find the opener in the 80th minute as he sent a right-footed shot from outside the box on goal, but Napa was all over it as he came up with the save. Yapi again came close to scoring in the 83rd minute, but Napa again made the save to keep Ecuador in the game.
One more substitution came for the US in stoppage time as San Jose Earthquakes’ Niko Tsarkis replaced Luna.
Just as it looked like the game would end in a scoreless draw, Owen Wolf flashed his vision and IQ as he lobbed a ball from the left flank to the right side of the box to Gomez. The Real Sociedad youngster chested the ball down and took a touch as the Ecuadorian defender overran the ball. Gomez then ripped a left-footed shot to the top right corner of the net that whipped past Napa and into the goal to give the United States a 1-0 lead in stoppage time.
The United States held on in the closing seconds as they secured a 1-0 victory in their Group Stage opener. Saturday’s win places the US in second place in Group B after Slovakia handed Fiji a 2-0 defeat in their Group Stage opener.
The United States will look to move up to first on Tuesday, May 23rd, as they take on Fiji inside Estadio San Juan del Bicentenario at 2:00 PM EDT on FS2.