The U.S. Under-20 men’s national team faced a tougher test in Monday’s group stage showdown with Canada at the Concacaf U-20 Championship, but did enough to walk away with one point and a spot in the knockout round of the tournament.
Jack McGlynn and Cade Cowell both scored goals as Mikey Varas’ side pegged Canada back twice in a 2-2 draw from Estadio Nacional Chelato Ucles, guaranteeing the Americans a top-two finish in Group A. Despite missing several chances to walk away with a second-straight victory, the USMNT U-20’s showed great fight to equalize on two separate occasions.
Canada took the early lead with a goal from York United’s Lowell Wright in the 16th minute against the run of play. A failed clearance by left back Mauricio Cuevas, allowed Wright the opportunity to squeeze a shot past goalkeeper Chris Brady and into the bottom-left corner.
Paxten Aaronson and Cade Cowell both delivered promising moments in the opening half, but could not find a way past Canada goalkeeper Ben Alexander in the opening 45 minutes. The USMNT U-20’s upped their pressure in the second half and found a tying goal through a stellar finish from Jack McGlynn.
McGlynn received a pass from Diego Luna before unleashing a left-footed strike into the top-right corner of Alexander’s goal. It was McGlynn’s first goal of the tournament.
Canada answered back quickly with a second go-ahead goal of the match, this time benefitting from a bit of luck. Michael Halliday’s header in the box off of a Canada cross snuck past Brady to spring Mauro Bello’s side back in front at 2-1 with just over 20 minutes left to play.
However, the USMNT U-20’s equalized for a second time as Cowell called his own number on a counter attack. Cowell cut into the Canada box before drilling a low shot into the bottom-right corner for his second goal of the tournament.
Both teams pushed for a winning goal, but had to settle for one point apiece in a 2-2 draw.
The USMNT U-20’s close out group stage play on Wednesday against Cuba, knowing a victory will see them finish top of Group A. Canada faces Saint Kitts and Nevis on Wednesday, needing at least one point to advance into the Round of 16.