RSL's Brooks Lennon helps complete 3-3 rally in U.S. U-20 World Cup opener
The Americans were caught snoozing at the start, but their persistence in climbing out of an early 2-0 hole paid off. The U.S. U-20 national team rallied to notch a stunning 3-3 draw with Ecuador in its opening match of group play against Ecuador at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Incheon, South Korea.
U.S. coach Tab Ramos started three Real Salt Lake academy products, including first-teamers Brooks Lennon and Danny Acosta. University of New Mexico defender Aaron Herrera, also part of the RSL academy, started at right back.
It was Lennon's last dangerous cross of the match that helped the Americans rescue a point. Lennon's right-footed cross was poorly cleared by the Ecuadorian back line and the ball fell right into the path of midfielder Luca De La Torre, whose volley attempt skipped inside the near post at the death in the 94th minute.
The RSL winger had an assist in the 54th minute on a fantastic right-footed cross that soared over the Ecuador defense and landed on the head of 17-year-old Josh Sargent. His redirected header into the far post brought the U.S. level 2-2. The young attacker helped the U-20s inch back into it in the 36th minute by pulling the U.S. within one with his low shot into the back of the net, his first of two goals on the day.
Ecuador took an early lead on goals in the fifth and seventh minute. But the Americans, facing arguably their toughest match in Group F play, fought to the last kick of the match to earn a crucial point in their opener.
Lennon, Acosta and Herrera went 90 minutes in the draw. Park City's Sebastian Saucedo subbed on in the 85th minute as the U.S. searched for the equalizing goal it eventually found. RSL center back Justen Glad, who has been recovering from a knee injury suffered in the 2017 CONCACAF Championship in early March, was on the bench.
The U-20s return Thursday morning at 5 a.m. local time as they face Senegal in their second game of Group F play.
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