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Sargent goal leads U.S. U-20s to top of group with win over Senegal

After scoring two goals in the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team’s World Cup opener, Josh Sargent scored yet another on Thursday, and it ended up being a game-winner.

Sargent fired home the game’s lone goal, leading the U.S. to a 1-0 win over Senegal on Thursday. The 17-year-old forward powered home a left-footed finish after an excellent touch-and-turn that left him with a clear look at goal he took full advantage of.

The win ensures no worse than third-place finish in the group for the U.S., and four points all but assures a place in the knockout rounds of a tournament where 16 of 24 teams advance out of the group stage.

The U.S. broke through in the 34th minute as Sargent, Luca de la Torre and Tyler Adams combined for a well-worked team goal. Following a flick on from Adams, de la Torre squared a pass to the center of the penalty area. Sargent was there waiting, as he took a turn toward the back post. All that was left was a left-footed finish, and Sargent smashed the shot into the back of the net for his third goal of the tournament.

Just moments before halftime, the U.S. had a golden chance to double their lead, but Danny Acosta’s shot trickled just wide. Sargent had several opportunities in the second half, but saw one through ball roll just long before a 62nd minute shot was saved.

One of the better looks came through Brooks Lennon, whose free kick was pushed just over the bar in the 64th minute.

Senegal found its rhythm in the second half, pushing hard for an equalizer. The U.S. defense was largely up to the task. The return of Cameron Carter-Vickers provided a welcome boost as the defender slid in alongside Erik Palmer-Brown in the heart of the defense. Jonathan Klinsmann, fresh off a blunder in the opener, was better in the back, providing a steadier hand at the goalkeeper position.

Largely limited, Senegal continued to push as the game wore on but, following the introduction of Justen Glad, the Americans buckled down and defended. They were forced to grind, enduring several hard fouls from Senegal. With seconds left, a Senegal header was sent just over the bar before the final whistle blew as the U.S. saw out the game’s waning moments to seal a win.

The U.S. returns to action on Sunday to close the group stage against Saudi Arabia, which defeated Ecuador in the day’s earlier group-stage match. The Americans top the group, with Senegal in second place and Saudi Arabia in third place. Ecuador is in last place with one point, but


    • We have been up and down and occasionally dangerous at this level for a couple of decades now. 2015 we lost in the quarters on penalties to the eventual winner; 2013 was a disaster in a super hard group; 2009 was very eh….; 2007 we lost in the quarters in extra time; 2005 was a decent year despite losing in the second round (topping a group with Germany and Argentina); 2003 lost in the quarters in extra time; 2001 a disappointment losing in the second round; Interesting thing is our top finish way back in 1989. (Kasey Keller in goal)

  1. Sargent’s first touch on the goal was a thing of beauty. That turn was sublime. Unrelated, can we please stop wearing these away jerseys. There’s nothing American about them.

  2. Get used to it………… A CCV-EPB partnership can easily be pairing for the next 10 years for the US. I would love to see it sooner than late. These guys need 1st team football. They are incredible good. If these two pan out the way they are projected……..we are in good, good hands for a very long time.

  3. CCV was very calm and a welcoming presence in the back, overall a good performance until the last 15 or so mins. Never like when teams bunker in and defend and give teams repeated chances, lucky a few of those late headers didn’t go on goal.

  4. Klinsmann wasn’t strong, He blunder a few goal kicks that he started to overcompensate his kicks under, thus barely getting it beyond the halfway mark. He was never tested.

    • agreed. he also caused some confusion with his defenders on a couple of crosses when he came out for the ball, then backed off at the last minute. i actually thought he had a better game against ecuador.

  5. Very good game for the US. Carter-Vickers had a big influence. Herrera seemed much more comfortable. Maybe it was Carter-Vickers or maybe just got through the jitters.


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