The U.S. Under-20 national team scored a late goal in stoppage time to claim a big 1-0 win over Ecuador in the opening match of the men’s 2023 FIFA U20 World Cup in Argentina.
The Americans moved to the top of Group B after the opening matchday with a maximum three points and matches coming up against Fiji on Tuesday (2 p.m. ET) and Slovakia on Friday (2 p.m. ET) to close out group play.
Real Sociedad left-back Jonathan Gomez, who was playing on the right side in order to come inside on his left foot, did just that in the 92nd minute and fired home a quality strike after setting himself up with a neat chest control.
Team USA U20 is playing in its fifth straight U20 World Cup tournament and is the only team to advance to the quarterfinals in three consecutive editions.
A first-place finish would give the USA a better chance of going deeper in 2023 than they have in these recent competitions, earning one of the arguably weaker third-place spots in the Round of 16.
The 1-0 result is also valuable because it comes without several of the team’s best players, who will only join if the team can advance deeper in the tournament. Club teams are not required to release their players for this tournament.