By DAN KARELL
Every win needs a game-saving moment.
On Wednesday, Zack Steffen provided just that for the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team.
The Freiburg goalkeeper made a crucial penalty kick save late in the second half to protect a U.S. lead and help the Americans eventually earn a 1-0 victory against Colombia in Under-20 World Cup Round of 16 action. Steffen’s heroics earned him SBI Man of the Match honors.
After left back Kellyn Acosta was shown a second yellow card and sent off for a foul inside the box, Steffen picked up his teammate with a massive penalty kick stop, diving to his right to keep out Jarlan Barrera’s shot and preserve a 1-0 U.S. lead in the 83rd minute. The U.S. went on to win by that score and advanced to the quarterfinals of the FIFA Under-20 World Cup for the first time since 2007.
Steffen’s heroics late in the game, coupled with his strong play and command of his area for the entire game, helped him edge out U.S. forward Rubio Rubin, who scored the game-winning goal, for SBI’s award. Emerson Hyndman, Cameron Carter-Vickers and Paul Arriola were also in the running.
What did you think of Steffen’s performance? Which U.S. player stood out the most to you?
Share your thoughts below.
No doubt Zeffen is deserving MOTM. The difference between the US’s position if Columbia converts is enormous. Rubin is second IMO, but miles behind the GK.
But Hyndman? Other than the crucial header he won to help set up the goal, he was anonymous is this match for me. He got involved when Columbia had to open up the match, but Hydman & Zedion were clearly beaten by Columbia’s midfield IMO.
Crucial penalty kick save*
Steffen was excellent all game. The penalty save was a bonus. IMHO, Columbia was the better team. If not for Steffen’s body of work and Rubin’s moment of brilliance, Columbia wins. Just my opinion.
Colombia definitely showed they can play. But a lot of times in these knockout rounds, it’s about finishing and sheer luck. Colombia couldn’t finish and the USA managed to get one in the back of the net. The Steffens save just adds to his resume. I can definitely see him as a keeper for the senior side one day.
Shoot were literally a better strike by Wondo away from the quarters after sustaining 16 shots in regulation……
Damn you WONDO!!!!