The U.S. U-20 national team jumped to the top of Group F after defeating Senegal 1-0 in their second group stage match at the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup in South Korea.
U.S. forward Josh Sargent scored his third goal in two games in the tournament when he broke through in the 34th minute. Timbers striker Jeremy Ebobisse made his U-20 World Cup debut coming on for Sargent in the stoppage time to help close out the win.
We’ve asked Ebobisse to submit updates from South Korea about his experience at the global tournament. Below, he talks about the feeling of the team coming off their dramatic, come-from-behind 3-3 draw in their first match against Ecuador and how they prepared for Senegal.
“The first game against Ecuador was quite the emotional rollercoaster. From the early mistakes putting us down 2-0 in the opening 10 minutes, to the emphatic push and stoppage time equalizer, there was hardly a boring moment all game for the paying supporters. The game featured attacking football from both teams eager to set the tone in a very competitive group. The jitters of such a high-stakes game perhaps got the best of us in the opening 10 minutes, but from then on, we were absolutely in control of the game.
By the end of it, we were content to tie the game up after going down again, but at the same time, there was a lingering feeling that we just missed out on an opportunity to get three points. We’ll take the high team morale into the next game and push on after our bright start. We’re a group with the highest of ambitions, and Monday’s game will only remind us that we can accomplish our goals.
Off the field, this trip has been equally as exciting. The long trips in different countries really bring the team together. From exploring our new neighborhoods to competitive FIFA matches, our bonds off the field help solidify our willingness to fight for each other on it. Off field banter can go a long way in easing the pressures we put on ourselves during the tournament.”
Elsewhere in Group F action on Thursday, Saudi Arabia’s 2-1 win over Ecuador 2-1 gave the USA the top of their group. Ebobisse and the Americans will aim to wrap up a spot in the Round of 16 as they play their final group stage game Sunday in Daejeon against Saudi Arabia (2am PT, FS1).