In a special U-20 World Cup Rewind, the U-20 US Men’s National Team defeated Colombia 1-0 to advance to the U-20 World Cup Quarterfinals against Serbia. The tense battle was thrilling to the bitter end as the United States had to do all they can to keep Colombia from scoring an equalizer in this Round of 16 matchup.
As you can see in the video highlights, it wasn’t all that easy for the United States to advance. As the battle raged on, the US got on the board for the first and only time with a Rubio Rubin goal from about 12 yards out in the 58th minute. He scored after grabbing the rebound off of Juan Quintero’s block of Paul Arriola’s shot.
Then, if there wasn’t any more drama to the game, Kellyn Acosta saw his second yellow in the 83rd minute and gave Colombia a PK due to a foul in the box. With a chance to score the equalizer and give Colombia all the momentum of scoring a late game or extra time winner, Jarlan Barrera’s penalty was stopped by Zach Steffen as he extended himself to stop the near perfect shot directed to the lower left corner of the goal. That was what the United States needed to finish off Colombia and go to the next round.
Now the next test is Serbia in the Quarterfinals. Serbia defeated Hungary 2-1 in the Round of 16 and they too had someone sent off. As Serbia scored with a stoppage time equalizer in the 90th minute, midfielder Milan Gajic got his second yellow right as the game was going into extra time. Fortunately for Serbia, they capitalized even though they were down a man and beat Hungary due to a heartbreaking own goal by Attila Talaber in the 119th minute. The USA faces Serbia Sunday June 14 at 12:30 AM ET on FS1
The other two Round of 16 matches culminated in a 3-0 win for Mali over Ghana as well as a Senegal win over Ukraine 3-1 in penalties. They had battled to a 1-1 draw before PK’s took place.
Tonight/Thursday morning, the second half of the Round of 16 face off. Brazil/Uruguay, Portugal/New Zealand, Austria/Uzbekistan and Germany/Nigeria all play to finish off the Quarterfinal bracket. Games kick off at midnight and 3:30 AM ET.