JEONJU, Korea Republic (June 4, 2017) – The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National
Team gave a sterling account of themselves, fighting through the final
whistle in a 2-1 extra time defeat to Venezuela in the Quarterfinals of the
2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Korea Republic.
After 90 minutes of high-intensity but scoreless soccer, the U.S. U-20s found themselves down 2-0 late in extra time after goals from Venezuela’s Adalberto Peñaranda and Nahuel Ferraresi in the 96th and 116th minutes, respectively. However, Jeremy Ebobisse rescued hope for the USA, scoring the first goal against Venezuela to this point in the tournament in the 117th minute, but a valiant U.S. side couldn’t tack on another in the waning moments to send the match to PKs.
The U.S. grew into the match slowly as Venezuela came charging out of the gate, forcing a diving save from U.S. goalkeeper Jonathan Klinsmann in the opening minute of play and a second fine stop after a quarter of an hour had gone by. The U.S. stuck to its game plan and began to foray forward in search of its own chances only to see Sergio Córdova strike what would have been the opening goal of the game midway through the half; however his goal was correctly called back for offside after the Video Assistant Referee took a second look at the play.
The second half opened much as the first had with Venezuela going close to
taking the lead on an attempt from Ronaldo Chacon but, his headed shot from
a corner kick thundered back off the bar and was cleared in the 48th
minute. Córdova then crashed a second header off the bar moments after
being stoned by Klinsmann as he bore in on goal. The U.S. settled down as
the half wore on and nearly snatched a late winner when captain Erik
Palmer-Brown beat La Vinotinto goalkeeper Wuilker Farinez to a
cross only to see his headed shot flash just inches outside the right post
with the final play of regulation.
This is the second consecutive U-20 World Cup that head coach Tab Ramos has guided the U.S. to the Quarterfinal stage. Although the U.S. is headed home, the players do so after tying multiple program records and winning arguably the toughest group of the tournament.
Goal Scoring Rundown:
VEN – Adalberto Peñaranda (Samuel Sosa), 96th minute: A quick break by Venezuela down the USA’s right flank received a kind deflection when Adalberto Peñaranda tried to make a move past his defender with the ball deflecting out wide into the path of the onrushing Samuel Sosa. He rifled in a low across along the top of the six yard box that picked out Peñaranda, whose first time shot nestled into the far left side netting. USA 0, VEN 1
VEN – Nahuel Ferraresi (Ronaldo Lucena), 116h minute: From a corner kick, Ronaldo Lucena whipped an inswinging cross toward the back right post where Nahuel Ferraresi lay in wait and headed the ball down into the turf. It bounced back up and into the top right corner of the goal for what proved to be the game winner. USA 0, VEN 2
USA – Jeremy Ebobisse (Brooks Lennon), 117th minute: From a set piece, Lennon sent the ball deep into the Venezuela box toward the back left post where a trio of U.S. players were arriving. It was Ebobisse who got his head to the ball, sending a looping header back across the goal and just inside the post into the right, side netting to give the USA hope until the final whistle. USA 1, VEN 2 (A.E.T.) FINAL
Key Stops and Saves:
USA – Jonathan Klinsmann, 1st minute: A set piece opportunity for Venezuela saw a cross driven into the heart of the U.S. penalty area where La Vinotinto center back Nahuel Ferraresi leap above all challengers to power a strong header toward the lower right corner of the goal. However, Klinsmann flashed impressive reflexes to making a diving, fingertip save to deflect the ball just outside the post.
USA – Jonathan Klinsmann, 13th minute: Yangel Herrera forced a turnover in the U.S. defensive third and fed the ball into the center of the pitch for Adalberto Peñaranda, who had space to look up and opt to shoot from 20 yards out. His low drive was headed for the bottom left corner but Klinsmann made a strong diving save to push the shot around the outside of the post.
USA – Jonathan Klinsmann, 61st minute: An excellent through-ball was laid into the path of Sergio Córdova who had the goal at his mercy but saw Klinsmann get low in a hurry to smother his shot from just inside the top of the box that was headed right into the center of the goal.
USA – Eryk Williamson, 88th minute: A flowing sequence from Venezuela resulted in the ball being played through to Adalberto Peñaranda as he scythed into the U.S. area, but Williamson had tracked the attacker’s run and made a last-second sliding tackle to deny Peñaranda’s point blank shot from the middle of the box.
- U.S. defender Cameron Carter-Vickers and midfielder Derrick Jones returned to the starting XI after missing the Round of 16 due to yellow card suspension.
- Carter-Vickers was joined in defense by fellow center back Erik Palmer-Brown and left back Danny Acosta as well as right back Justen Glad, who retained his starting spot he was handed in the Round of 16 despite the return from yellow card suspension of Aaron Herrera, who had started the first three matches of the tournament for the USA.
- Jones, Eryk Williamson and Tyler Adams were reunited in midfield in support of Luca de la Torre, Josh Sargent and Brooks Lennon, who formed the USA’s forward line.
- Adams exited the match in the 51st minute and was replaced by Jeremy Ebobisse, while Josh Sargent was withdrawn in the 83rd minute, having sustained a nasty cut to the head earlier in the match on a high boot from a Venezuela defender. Lagos Kunga replaced the U.S. striker.
- In the second half of extra time, Eryk Williamson came off for striker Emanuel Sabbi in the 112th minute and Danny Acosta parted for Auston Trusty in the 120th.
- The USA is 5-9-1 all-time in Knockout Round games at the FIFA U-20 World Cup.
- U.S. head coach Tab Ramos moves to 5-4-4 all-time at the FIFA U-20 World Cup.
- The Quarterfinal match occurred just hours after the U.S. and Venezuela senior sides tied 1-1 in a friendly match at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah.
USA Aims to Continue Run vs. Venezuela in U-20 World Cup Quarterfinals | 2am ET | FS2, Telemundo En Vivo
JEONJU, Korea Republic (June 3, 2017) – The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team will look to advance to the FIFA U-20 World Cup Semifinals for just the second time when it faces Venezuela on Sunday, June 4 at Jeonju World Cup Stadium in Jeonju, Korea Republic. The match will be broadcast live on FS2 and Telemundo En Vivo with kickoff set for 2:00 a.m. ET. Fans can also follow the match live on twitter at @ussoccer_ynt.
The U.S. finished atop Group F, drawing 3-3 with Ecuador and defeating Senegal 1-0 before a 10-man U.S. side played to a 1-1 tie with Saudi Arabia, the U-20 MNT then downed New Zealand 6-0 in the Round of 16. The six-goal output against the Junior All-Whites matched a 6-0 win against Turkey at the 1993 edition for the USA’s largest margin of victory at a FIFA U-20 World Cup.
On Sunday, the USA will look to advance to the Semifinals for the first time since 1989, when the side had its best all-time finish, taking fourth place.
Venezuela enters the match after finishing first in Group B and also as the only remaining team in the competition yet to concede a goal. After a perfect start to the group stage, where La Vinotinto took down Germany (2-0), Vanuatu (7-0) and Mexico (1-0), Venezuela faced a tough Japan side in a match that nearly went to penalties had it not been for New York City FC defensive midfielder Yangel Herrera’s 108th minute winner.
The winner of the USA-Venezuela match will face either Portugal or Uruguay in the Semifinals. The other side of the bracket sees Italy meeting Zambia and Mexico confronting England. The first two Quarterfinal matches take place on June 4 in Jeonju and Daejeon, while the opposite side of the USA bracket will kick off from Suwon and Cheonan, respectively, on June 5.
2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup Quarterfinal Pairings:
June 4, 2 a.m. ET: Venezuela vs. USA; Jeonju World Cup Stadium, Jeonju
June 4, 5 a.m. ET: Portugal vs. Uruguay; Daejeon World Cup Stadium, Daejeon
June 5, 4 a.m. ET: Italy vs. Zambia; Suwon World Cup Stadium, Suwon
June 5, 7 a.m. ET: Mexico vs. England; Cheonan Sports Complex, Cheonan