USA TAKE THE LEAD! Sebastian Soto scores his first goal of the tournament and puts on pic.twitter.com/m2V6ok1MaC
Video: MATCH HIGHLIGHTS – USA v Nigeria – FIFA U-20 World Cup Poland 2019
The U.S. continued to dominate for the next 15 minutes, but Nigeria started to pull some momentum in their favor heading into halftime. They threatened to tie on a few occasions, but Köln goalkeeper Brady Scott kept the Stars and Stripes in front with some excellent saves.
The second half started with a bang. The United States came out on a mission to put the game away, and did so inside the first minute of the second half. Chris Gloster played a lovely one-two with Timothy Weah and drove hard towards the 18-yard box. He then displayed outstanding patience and played Soto into space. Soto made no mistake to dink it over the Nigerian keeper and put the US up 2-0.
WHAT. A. GOAL. ⚡️⚡️Sebastian Soto scores his second of the game and doubles the USMNTs lead pic.twitter.com/uOsBAKvZwx
Nigeria looked likely to get back into the game when Mark McKenzie (who came on for the injured Chris Richards) was whistled for a penalty in the 64th minute. However, the Americans were fortunate as a VAR review waved off the call due to him being offsides. Nigeria would continue to threaten, but they were unable to generate many quality chances. The referee eventually blew the whistle as the U.S. defeated Nigeria by the 2-0 scoreline.
Chris Gloster has had a fine tournament so far, and he was a menace today. On top of his outstanding run and assist on the games second goal, the 18-year-old Hannover left back consistently did his job defensively again. Sebastian Soto got his first start of the tournament and paid Tab Ramos back with a brace, which was nearly a hat trick. The Hannover striker caused problems with his movement. Look for him to stay in that spot against Qatar. The U.S. generated a ton of chances today, especially as the game became stretched. This was a good sign after struggling to create quality scoring opportunities in the group stage opener.
The U.S. once again gave up plenty of scoring chances to the opposition. While they avoided the mistakes (McKenzies overturned penalty notwithstanding) that plagued them in the opener, it was still concerning that Nigeria caused the backline problems today. On top of that, Chris Richards limped off injured, so it remains to be seen if he will be available for Thursdays match against Qatar (2:20 PM ET on FS1).
With Ukraine beating Qatar, the United States needs to win and have Nigeria beat Ukraine in order for the U.S. to have a chance to win the group on goal differential. Anything other than a loss will likely see the U.S. through to the knockout round since four of the six 3rd place teams from the groups advance. Hit the comment section to discuss your thoughts on the players and the performance in the 2-0 win.
Former Nigeria U20 coach Henry Nwosu has warned the Flying Eagles that USA will be difficult to beat when they meet in their second Group D game in the Fifa U20 World Cup in Poland on Monday.
Goals from Maxwell Effiom, Henry Offia, Ayotomiwa Dele-Bashiru, and Aliu Salawudeen helped Paul Aigboguns side kick off their campaign with a 4-0 demolition of Qatar on Friday.
After USA lost 2-1 to Ukraine in their opener, Nwosu believed the Americans will be firing on all cylinders in their quest to reach the knockout stage of the competition.
They should approach the game with all seriousness. That we won the first game does not mean we have to take our eyes off the pedal, Nwosu told Goal.
It is when we win the second game we can be celebrating, because once we win against USA, then we have qualified for the next round.
I will plead with them that they should take the game with every seriousness it deserves, at least get a draw. They should go for a win and if it ended in a draw, good for them too.
USA will come strong against Nigeria after they lost their opening game that is why the Flying Eagles have to be well prepared for them.
They want to qualify to the next round as well, so we must be ready to work harder to get a good result in the game.
The Flying Eagles lead the Group D table on goal difference as they are tied on three points with Ukraine, while USA and Qatar are placed third and fourth respectively, after both lost their opening games.
Nigerias best outings in the Fifa U20 World Cup were in 1989 and 2005, where they finished as runners-up behind Portugal and Argentina, respectively.