As the game clock ticked past the 60-minute mark, the United States held a slim one goal lead over New Zealand.
But the floodgates in the Round of 16 match at the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup would soon open, with the U.S. finding the back of the net five more times in the game’s final 30 minutes as the Americans would cruise to a 6-0 victory.
The USA’s fifth all-time knockout round victory in the U-20 World Cup sees Tab Ramos’ side advance to the Quarterfinals against Venezuela at Jeonju World Cup Stadium in Jeonju, Korea Republic on Sunday, June 4. The game can be seen live at 2 a.m. ET on FS2, FOX Sports Go and Telemundo En Vivo.
The U.S. was able to put their mark on the game early, with Josh Sargent and midfielder Eryk Williamson challenging New Zealand goalkeeper Michael Woud with two headed attempts inside the first 13 minutes. The Americans broke through in the 32nd minute, when a Brooks Lennon low corner kick from the left fell for Justen Glad whose attempt made its way through traffic before deflecting off Sargent and past Woud.
With his fourth goal of the tournament, Sargent tied Taylor Twellman (1999), Eddie Johnson (2003) and Jozy Altidore (2007) for most goals scored by a U.S. player at the FIFA U-20 World Cup. The goal also puts Sargent back into a tie with Venezuela’s Sergio Cordova for the tournament’s Golden Boot lead.
The U.S. put the game out of reach in the second half with a two-goal outburst in just two minutes. In the 64th minute, Jeremy Ebobisse took down a header from Sargent before blasting past Woud, while a minute later, Williamson’s feed down the right gave Lennon a clear path to goal to give the U.S. an unassailable 3-0 lead.
Glad would get his name on the scoresheet in the 76th minute when he rose to head home Lennon’s corner kick from the right. Two substitutes would put an exclamation point on the U.S. win as Auston Trusty blasted home a Sebastian Saucedo – the USA’s third sub to etch his name on the scoresheet – corner kick in the 84th minute and Lagos Kunga capped the scoring in second-half stoppage time.
The 6-0 win also ties the USA’s record for largest margin of victory at the FIFA U-20 World Cup. The U-20 MNT also earned a 6-0 win against Turkey in its opening match of the 1993 edition in Australia.
In a unique doubleheader, the U.S. Under-20s will take on Venezuela just hours after the two nations’ senior national teams face off in a friendly at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah.