This young U.S. team is pretty darn good.
The U.S. U-20 national team beat New Zealand 6-0 in Incheon, South Korea on Thursday to advance to the quarterfinals of the 2017 U-20 World Cup.
A first half goal from Josh Sargent (his fourth of the tournament) set the U.S. on their way, with Jeremy Ebobisse, Brooks Lennon, Justin Glad, Auston Trusty and Lagos Kunga adding a goal each in the second half to put some extra gloss on the scoreline.
Without the suspended trio of Cameron Carter-Vickers, Aaron Herrera and Derrick Jones, Tab Ramos’ men strolled into the last eight where they will face a much tougher test against Venezuela on Sunday.
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The U.S. started brightly as Lennon skipped past one defender but then hammered over the bar and although New Zealand always carried a threat on the counter, the longer the first half went on the more likely the U.S. seemed to take the lead.
They did just that in the 32nd minute as a corner from the right was played in to Glad and he controlled before volleying towards goal through a crowd and the ball took a nick off Sargent and past Michael Woud in goal for New Zealand. 1-0 to the U.S.
Danny Acosta drilled a shot on goal which was saved well by Woud before half time and the U.S. handled a few dangerous set pieces from New Zealand with ease.
In the second half New Zealand came back into the game and captain Moses Dyer had a wonderful chance to equalize. The Kiwis broke down the right and a cutback to the penalty spot found Dyer unmarked but he scuffed his effort wide. A huge let-off for the U.S.
The U.S. then sealed the win with two goals in two minutes as Ebobisse hammered home a wonderful strike to make it 2-0 and then moments later Lennon raced clear and finished well to make it 3-0.
New Zealand never recovered and Sargent almost added a fourth but his fine turn and low shot was turned around the post by Woud.
From that corner Glad did add a fourth goal as he headed towards goal and Woud made a real mess of it. 4-0 to the USA. Game over.
Trusty then added a special strike late on as he rifled home a shot from the edge of the box after a short corner found him unmarked, and then Kunga finished off a mazy run with a cool finish to make it 6-0.
Ramos’ men will have a much tougher test next time out, but winning 6-0 in a Round of 16 game will do wonders for confidence.