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Global May 27, 2019

USA beats Nigeria 2-0 in FIFA U-20 World Cup group play

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BIELSKO-BIALA, Poland (Via U.S. Soccer) – The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team rebounded with a strong 2-0 win against Nigeria at the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup thanks to a pair of goals from Sebastian Soto and a shutout from the U.S. defense let by goalkeeper Brady Scott.

The USA (1-1-0; 3pts) sits third in Group D after two match days, tied on points with Nigeria (1-1-0; 3pts) but trails on goal differential by one. Earlier in the day, Ukraine (2-0-0; 6pts) beat Qatar (0-2-0; 0pts) to take control of the group but must still face Nigeria, while the U.S. will close out Group D against Qatar on Thursday, May 30 at 2:30 p.m. ET (FS2, Universo).


In a much more wide-open match than its previous game, the USA carried play throughout the day, amassing 59 percent possession via 460 passes compared to 313 for Nigeria. Although the U.S. did well to dictate the pace of play, it needed an outstanding game from Scott, who racked up five saves. He was called into action early to deny a creative volley from Nigeria.

The majority of the goal-scoring chances were created by the United States, and on its third corner the U.S. broke through via a back-post header from Soto in the 18th minute.

The U.S. nearly doubled its lead on multiple occasions. First, Tim Weah got free on a break away but Olawale Oremade got enough of a deflection on the shot to send it around the far post. Then on the half hour mark, Weah’s initial header was saved and a resulting scramble for the rebound was stabbed home by Soto. The goal was disallowed after a video review determined Weah was offside on the initial header.

Scott then made a series of saves to defend the USA’s advantage. A diving save to his right kept out a fierce volley form the top of the box by substitute Aniekeme Okon in the 39th minute. Nigeria’s surge saw Okon then put a blistering shot off the wood work from distance just a minute later. Scott denied Nigeria yet again with another save in the 42 nd minute on a blast right toward the center of goal; then the USA took its own chances when Weah had a pair of attempts late on in the half that were deflected, one of which dropped onto the cross bar and out.

After the break, it took the U.S. less than 30 seconds to grab a second goal. Chris Gloster got free on the dribble and played Soto into the box where he sent a deft chip over the onrushing Oremade for the final margin.

While no more goals were scored, the U.S. was fortunate to see a penalty kick awarded to Nigeria in the 64th minute called back due to an offside that occurred before the PK call.

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Sebastian Soto (Alex Mendez), 18th minute: On the USA’s third corner, Alex Mendez sent the ball into the box and Soto got free of his marker to head home at the back post. USA 1, NGA 0 [WATCH]

USA – Sebastian Soto (Chris Gloster), 46th minute: Just seconds after the restart, defender Chris Gloster carried the ball down the left side of the field. As he approached the box, he spotted the run of Soto and played him toward the left post. Soto raced on the ball and lifted a nifty chip over the onrushing ‘keeper to double the U.S. advantage. USA 2, NGA 0 [WATCH] FINAL

Additional Notes:

  • Soto is the 10th U.S. player to score two or more goals in a U-20 World Cup game. He joins Josh Sargent (2017, two goals vs. Ecuador), Jozy Altidore (2007, two goals vs. Brazil), Freddy Adu (2007, three goals vs. Poland), Danny Szetela (2007, two goals vs. Poland), Eddie Johnson (2003, two goals vs. Korea Republic), DaMarcus Beasley (2001, two goals vs. Chile), Taylor Twellman (1999, two goals vs. Cameroon and Spain), Chris Flakaris (1993, three goals vs. Turkey), Miles Joseph (1993, two goals vs. Turkey).
  • Tab Ramos made one change from the USA’s starting XI in its opener against Ukraine, slotting in Soto for midfielder Brandon Servania.
  • Soto’s goals represented his third and fourth career U-20 tallies. His first two came in his U-20 debut against Jamaica at the U.S. Soccer U-20 Men’s Invitational in Sept. 2018.
  • Scott recorded his fifth career U-20 shutout. The ‘keeper kept four clean sheets at the 2018 Concacaf U-20 Championship in November.
  • The game marked Alex Mendez’s 17th U-20 cap, the most on the team.

-U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team Match Report-

Match: U.S. U-20 MNT vs. Nigeria
Date: May 27, 2019
Competition: 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup – Group D
Venue: Bielsko-Biala Stadium; Bielsko-Biala, Poland
Attendance: 3,427
Kick-off: 8:30 p.m. CET / 2:30 p.m. ET
Weather: 64 degrees; Rainy

Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA                          1 1 2
NGA                          0 0 0

USA – Sebastian Soto (Alex Mendez)      18th minute
USA – Sebastian Soto (Chris Gloster)       46

Lineups:
USA: 1-Brady Scott; 2-Sergino Dest, 5-Chris Richards (4-Mark McKenzie, 60), 13-Aboubacar Keita, 3-Christopher Gloster, 10-Paxton Pomykal (c), 6-Chris Durkin, 8-Alex Mendez (16-Brandon Servania, 77); 17-Konrad De la Fuente, 9-Sebastian Soto, 11-Timothy Weah (19-Justin Rennicks, 87)
Subs not used: 7-Julian Araujo, 12-David Ochoa, 14-Edwin Cerrillo, 15-Matt Real, 18-Ulysses Llanez, 20-Richard Ledezma, 21-CJ dos Santos
Head Coach: Tab Ramos

NGA: 16-Olawale Oremade; 2-Zulkifilu Rabiu, 5-Olasunkanmi Salawudeen, 6-Valentine Ozornwafor, 3-Ikouwem Utin (capt.); 15-Jamil Muhammad, 14-Kingsley Michael (17-Success Makanjuola, 70), 19-Maxwell Effiom, 8-Tom Dele-Bashiru (10-Aniekeme Okon, 31), 11-Okechukwu Offia; 9-Akor Adams (20-Muhamed Tijani, 54)
Subs not used: 1-Detan Ogundare, 4-Peter Eletu, 7-Yira Sor, 12-Ogbu Igoh, 13-Nathan Ofoborh, 18-Chinonso Emeka, 21-Jonathan Zaccala
Head Coach: Paul Aigbogun

Statistical Summary: USA / NGA
Shots: 12 / 19
Shots on Goal: 3/5
Saves: 5 / 1
Corner Kicks: 8/ 6
Fouls: 7 / 16
Offside: 1 / 1

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Konrad de la Fuente (caution)                10th minute
NGA – Aniekeme Okon (caution)                       90+1
USA – Christopher Gloster (caution)                  90+6
NGA – Olasunkanmi Salawudeen (caution)       90+10

Officials:
Referee: Benoît Bastien (FRA)
Assistant: Hicham Zakrani (FRA)
Assistant: Frederic Haquette (FRA)
4th Official: Pacifique Ndabihawenimana (BDI)

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