USA defeated France 3-2 in a thrilling, back-and-forth encounter in baking Bydgoszcz to advance to the FIFA U-20 World Cup Poland 2019 quarter-finals.
The Stars and Stripes opened the scoring when Richard Ledezma found space to run at France’s backline before unleashing Sebastian Soto with a well-timed through pass. The Hannover forward took a touch before curling a shot past Alban Lafont into the bottom corner.
There was then a cooling break right after Soto’s goal, which may have worked to France’s advantage, as the Stars and Stripes were beginning to heat up.
France threatened USA goalkeeper Brady Scott’s goal in the 37th minute when Michael Cuisance struck the post. However, they went one better four minutes later, almost replicating USA’s opening goal. Moussa Diaby dribbled at USA’s backline before timing a through ball for Amine Gouiri, who did well to stay onside and score past Scott.
Diaby was a constant threat down France’s right wing for most of the second half and that’s where France’s second originated from. The Paris Saint-Germain man poked a shot past Scott that hit the post and Nabil Alioui put in the second chance from close range.
USA replied with an equaliser in the 74th minute when Tim Weah threaded through an intricate short pass at the top of the penalty area with the outside of his boot for Soto, and the forward showed his instinct in front of goal, scoring past Lafont for his second of the evening.
Just under ten minutes later USA substitute Justin Rennicks, who had previously played a total of nine minutes at Poland 2019, scored the winning goal, reacting the quickest after Lafont spilled a searing shot from Sergino Dest.