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Derrick Jones starts, United States wins key match in U20 World Cup

Jones and the U.S. U20s topped Senegal 1-0 in their second Group F match on Thursday morning

MLS: New York Red Bulls at Philadelphia Union Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia Union midfielder Derrick Jones had another solid outing, helping the United States U20 earn a critical three points and a clean sheet against a tournament favorite on Thursday morning in South Korea.

Josh Sargent, the 17-year-old phenom from St. Louis, put the United States on the board in the first half with his third goal of the tournament. New York Red Bulls midfielder Tyler Adams was seemingly everywhere for the U.S. while Jones and the center back pairing of captain Erik Palmer-Brown and Cameron Carter-Vickers did well to cut down Senegal’s chances.

Jones didn’t have one of his best games going forward, but was a calming presence on the defensive side of the field and made a huge block on a shot inside the box in the second half. He played the full 90 minutes after coming off the bench for an injured Gedion Zelalem in the 34th minute in Tuesday’s 3-3 draw with Ecuador.

With the win, the U.S. go to the top of Group F with four points and one game remaining against Saudi Arabia on Sunday morning. Saudi Arabia (3 points) beat Ecuador (1 point) 2-1 in the other Group F game on Thursday. Senegal (3 points) beat Saudi Arabia in their first match on Tuesday.

A draw on Sunday morning will be enough to send the United States through.