The United States under-20 men’s national team took a giant step toward qualifying for the World Cup with a 1-0 victory over a talented Mexico side. A great team performance fueled by a high pressing attack and a set-piece goal was enough for them to earn a crucial three points and put them in the driver’s seat for one of the two qualifying spots available.
The match didn’t get off the best of starts as the two teams felt each other out for the opening 20 minutes without much in the way of action. After that opening spell of nothingness, a switch clicked on for the U.S. led by Erik Palmer-Brown and Tyler Adams’ great work in the holding midfield area, they began to get the better of Mexico. In the 29th minute, Palmer-Brown opened the scoring off of a corner. The captain powered a header towards goal off of Brooks Lennon’s service, a Mexico defender was stationed well on the line but his clearance attempt was mishit into the net for the first goal of the match.
After the goal, the U.S. enjoyed several good spells of possession, suffocating El Tri with their high pressing up the field. They created a few more chances through Lennon and Jeremy Ebobisse, but weren’t able to extend the lead before the break.
The USA’s press continued to give Mexico difficulties in the second half. They struggled to get out of their own end once again and create chances. The majority of the half consisted of the Americans creating turnovers. Mexico finally got a few chances in the last 10 minutes, but none that were extremely threatening. A fine team performance earned the U.S. U-20’s the first win over Mexico in 31 years.