Head coach Tab Ramos and the United States U20s are heading back to the quarterfinals of the World Cup for the third straight time after stunning France on Tuesday in Poland.
The Baby Yanks opened the scoring against the run of play when Sebastian Soto was sprung on the counter attack by Richard Ledezma. The Hannover 96 forward had only the keeper to beat and did well to convert the chance and put the Americans ahead.
Les Bleus leveled the score four minutes before halftime through Amine Gouri and went ahead on a Nabil Alioui strike in the 55th minute.
The U.S. wasn’t going away though and equalized in the 74th minute thanks to the skill of Timothy Weah threading the needle to find Soto in the box, who was clinical with his finish in front of goal.
A shot from distance from Sergino Dest set up the decisive goal in the 83rd minute when France goalkeeper Alban Lafont spilled a rebound right to Justin Rennicks for the easy put back.
COMEBACK COMPLETE!— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 4, 2019
Justin Rennicks cleans up the rebound and gives the USA a 3-2 lead. The Baby Yanks are minutes away from the U-20 World Cup quarterfinals! pic.twitter.com/s0Ng4aQmLT
The Americans will face Ecuador in the quarterfinals on Saturday at 2:30 p.m.
Ramos led teams to the quarterfinals in each of the last two U20 World Cup. The U.S. fell to Venezuela in extra time 2-1 in 2017 and fell to Serbia (coached by former Philadelphia Union midfielder and current Chicago Fire head coach Veljko Paunović) on penalties after a scoreless draw in 2015.
Philadelphia Union defender Mark McKenzie made a brief cameo in Tuesday’s Round of 16 match, subbing in in second half stoppage time after playing 90 minutes in a 1-0 win over Qatar in the final group match. Matt Real and Philadelphia native C.J. dos Santos were both unused subs in the game.