USA vs Fiji, summary: Wiley, second half, score, goals & highlights | Under-20 World Cup
USA vs Fiji, Under-20 World Cup: as it happened
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A fabulous effort from both the USA and Fiji
Both teams played brilliantly today in completely different ways.
Fiji, for 66 minutes, defended superbly well against a USA side who threatened them all game but could not find a way through; chances came time and time again for the Americans but they could not find the goal.
Mustahib in the Fijian goal was superb and stopped plenty of close-range chances, as well as putting his body on the line on numerous occasions. Overall, both sides can take positives from the game although the USA, going into the later rounds, may want to focus on being more clinical.
And that's all!
The USA are through to the Round of 16!
We're into the final few seconds of the game...
RAZOOL TESTS SLONINA!
A shot from close range is saved by the goalkeeper!
Three for the USA!
Wiley taps in after Craig's shot was saved by Mustahib and the scoreline now relfects the dominance of the US.
It's a free-kick on the left for the USA; Craig is standing over the ball with McGlynn.
Gómez is tripped and Raheem gets a yellow card.
Slonina sees the ball roll out after Fiji try to break and rush the move, with Begg's pass almost making it through the US defence to his teammate.
The US want more goals and continue to push Fiji back towards their own goal. The second goal has certainly calmed the tension from the side, it must be said.
COWELL OFF THE POST
Luna slipped a delightful pass through and the player whipped a right-footed shot off the inside of the far post!
COWELL OFF THE BAR
The USA come close to finding a third!
The ball fell to Cowell inside the box and he hit a thunderbolt from close range that the goalpost will surely feel in the morning.
11 added minutes. Brandan Craig wasn't far off, it turns out.
Diego Luna is a serious talent: he has just plucked the ball out of the sky as though he is wearing a pair of tweezers on his toes and his skill on the ball for the assist was excellent. He has changed the game.
Luna plays the ball to Cowell, who skips past a player on the edge of the box and bends a curling effort into the same far corner of the goal that Luna hit earlier in the game.
A few loose balls as both teams rush to get closer to the opposing goal. The USA win another corner. While they're not winning by much in terms of goals, they have the last laugh in terms of corners.
Craig goes down in the box like a dying swan and I think I just heard laughter from the stands. A pathetic attempt at winning a penalty.
Fiji give away a cheap corner after Aiyas' pass flies straight out behind the goal.
We've got a small fight on the pitch after two tasty challenges from both sides end with a free-kick to the USA.
The referee and Bobby Mimms rush over to act as peacemakers. Fight over.
Vargas and Gómez work the ball beautifully (despite being called offside) but Edinburgh Ravai slides in well to stop the danger.
Another Fijian goes off on a stretcher - this time it's Khan.
Matau coming on to replace him.
McGlynn tries his luck from distance and shoots wide of the target. Another shot on the tally for the USA.
Chance for Cowell!
Gómez is given way too much space on the left and hits a low cross into the box that is met by the oncoming Cowell, whose shot goes wide.
Gómez collects the ball form a wonderful, long-range pass from McGlynn. The left-sided midifielder takes a touch into the box and hits a powerful effort into the side netting.
Navoce and Razool ON
Ali and Kubu OFF
Yapi heads over the bar after a nice cross from Ferkranus. A hatful of chances missed by the forward.
Begg and Ali don't connect well as the midfielder tries to play a short pass with the striker thinking the ball os being sent over the top.
The US counter and Gómez fizzes a shot wide.
The game has resumed with Kubu off the pitch.
I've just heard US defender Brandan Craig say "there has got to be, like, twenty minutes added time". Not sure about that, B.
Play is stopped as Fiji have a rare attack, this time it's Kubu on the ground.
Yapi comes close!
Kubu's defending is excellent as it looks as though all Yapi has to do is tap the ball into the net after the cross from Lana, but the Fijian made a huge block to stop the effort.
LUNA SKIES A SHOT FROM CLOSE RANGE
That was the perfect chance for a second!
The Fijian defence was nowhere to be seen and the US forward hit the ball over the ball from a low cross.
Luna got to a loose ball inside the box and whipped a powerful, right-footed effort into the far corner of the goal. It was coming, but Fiji will be annoyed that they have conceded.
IT'S LUNA WITH THE GOAL
Craig's pass to Tsakiris is well-placed but the San Jose Earthquakes player messes up his first touch and sees the ball roll through to Mustahib in the Fijian goal.
Luna sees his name in lights and fires a shot high and wide that hits the moon. Get it?
It's Khan again for Fiji, who works the ball well towards Ali in the box, but the US clear the ball away.
Begg's pass towards Ali is stopped by Halliday.
Khan then skips past McGlynn and Khan and gives Fiji some much needed breathing space up the pitch.
He's up and we're underway again.
Mustahib is down and receiving medical treatment. He took a knock from that challenge.
Mustahib dives through three players to collect the ball as six legs all swing to clear/shoot. Amazing goalkeeping.
The USA scored 31 and conceded just two goals in the Concacaf championship, but they're having trouble today.
Ravai, born in Edinburgh (yes, really), is back on the pitch.
We're back underway.
Cowell instantly goes close and hits a volley over the bar.
You can have a virtual chocolate bar if you can guess where Ravai was born...
The player, by the way, is back on his feet.
Aaaand we've stopped again. This time it's Ravai who's down.
We're back underway...
Fiji manager Bobby Mimms is furious with the fourth official as Saqiri gets taken off on a stretcher.
Saqiri is down and in a lot of pain.
Cowell wastes the chance and Fiji counter...
The USA win back the ball and it's Cowell who breaks down the left and hits a shot to the far post that is saved well by Mustahib.
Begg pushes Edelman over on the sideline near the corner flag and the USA have a cheap free-kick.
Luna wiggles his way onto the edge of the box but sees his shot blocked and fly out for a corner.
Tsakiris tries an incredibly difficult pass through four Fiji defenders and the long-winded move from his side is put to an end. Fiji have dropped back into their low-block but that early chance has given them new levels of confidence.
The USA have the ball in the net... 10 seconds after McGlynn's pass is called back after Yapi was in an advanced position.
WHAT A SAVE FROM SLONINA!!
Vasconcellos hits a furious effort as the ball drops down from the corner and the goalkeeper makes a huge save!
Fiji have a corner (!) after Halliday clears a long throw...
Sullivan and Wolff OFF
Tsakiris and Luna ON
And we're off!
Fiji get us going from left to right.
The players are back out on the pitch!
We're ready to go again for the second 45.
Some snaps of the USA dominance - as well as the heroic defending
Two shots on target for the US pretty much sums up their afternoon in Argentina. They have been incrediblywasteful for 45 minutes and need to stay calm and not rush the multitude of chances that are - and will - fall their way.
Possession: USA 57% - in contest 23% - Fiji 20%
Attempts: USA: 13 - Fiji: 2
On target: USA: 2 - Fiji: 0
Passes attempted: USA: 243 - Fiji: 97
Corners: USA: 5 - Fiji: 0
What a performance for Fiji for 45 minutes. Bobby Mimms' side have defended like eleven superheroes as the US have dominated the space, the ball, the chances - but don't have a goal to show for it.
The chances are almost impossible to recall, as there have been so many. Yapi, Cowell, Sullivan and Gómez have all come close but they cannot find the final touch for many of their well-worked moves all across the pitch.
The shape of the USA have shown quality on the ball and they possess a lot of quality, but right now their levels of concentration are being seconded by their opponents, who are defending superbly well.
Well, well, well...
A misplaced pass by Sullivan is met by screams from some in the stands who are not happy about going into half-time with the scoreboard level.
Ferkranus pushes over Kubu inside the box and the referee gives a free-kick to Fiji, who will take their time to get the HT at 0-0. There is a big sense of frustration on the US bench.
3 added minutes.
Saqiri has Fiji's first attempt at goal with an acrobatic effort that flies high and wide - he's then booked just seconds later after taking down an opponent in frustration.
A free-kick for the US on the left side looks like a very good chance for the side.
Shouts of 'what's going on?' can be heard from the players as Ali comes back on and the referee, who didn't sanction the player to enter the pitch, stops the play.
Ali is OK to come back into the game.
Passes completed so far:
USA - Fiji
208 - 58
A stoppage in play as Ali is down holding his head after a mix-up with Ferkranus.
WHAT A MOVE FROM THE USA
Yapi's finish skims the post as the frustration in the team finally reaches the fans in the stands, who are growing impatient.
That's the USA's 14th attempt...
Another chance comes and goes...
Sullivan can't get a solid boot on the ball after it drops to him in the box from a Cowell cross.
His first touch was too heavy which allowed Fiji to scramble over the ball and block his outstretched leg from making full contact inside the box.
Nabil Begg gets taken down by McGlynn, who gets the first yellow of the day.
Raheem is OK and we're playing again.
The referee takes advantage of the slight stoppage to slosh an entire bottle of water over his head in sunny San Juan. I don't blame him.
Dunn steals the ball from Cowell and Fiji launch an attack... which is stopped by the referee as Raheem is down on the ground.
YAPI GOES CLOSE
A fierce shot comes flying off his boot after Vasconcellos' touch bounces right into the path of the striker, who is stood patiently on the penalty spot. The defender stands his ground and blocks the attempt.
Take a drink every time I write 'the USA waste a great chance' and you'll have a fun-filled Tuesday.
It's Cowell this time, who mis-kicks the ball as it drops to him at the far post. Another chance gone.
Fiji defend well again as the US work a corner routine nicely to the back post.
Bodies fly everywhere in an attempt to keep their goals conceded at 0, something that they're managing to do so far.
Ferkranus beats Dunn to the ball as Fiji look to play quickly over the top. Slonina gets a rare touch of the ball in the USA goal.
Ravai blocks a fantastic move from the US down the right, which ends with Sullivan breaking in the box and firing a shot that is well defended.
Possession so far:
USA - In contest - Fiji
63% - 20% - 17%
Dunn, Khan and Kubu link up in the middle as Fiji get their first opportunity to touch the ball and feel comfortable in possession.
The spell ends after Kubu's attempted through ball to Ali is cut out by Ferkranus.
Craig comes close from a goal-mouth scramble before Edelman's shot is put wide after a nice touch to control the high cross.
Edelman is caught by Begg and looks to be in pain... no yellow for the Fiji midfielder. The USA youth international is OK to continue.
Another move wasted by the US: this time it's Yapi who can't get on the end of a cross that is hit too early...
The referee jumps in and shouts 'BE CAREFUL' very loudly after Raheem takes McGlynn down and saw his hair pulled by the cheeky defender.
The USA are cruising: they're finding spaces all over the pitch and when there isn't any room, the players have the talent to skip by multiple defenders.
Having said that, Fiji are keeping their shape and it looks like a moment of individual quality will have to be be the thing to break them at this point.
A HUGE CHANCE FOR SULLIVAN
What a move from the USA. They played the ball quickly through the middle and Sullivan shook off two challengers before he hit a ferocious effort that took paint off the far post.
McGlynn fires the free-kick towards goal from long-range and forces a nice save from Mustahib.
The USA are not allowing Fiji any form of possession, and are keeping them well pinned back towards their own goal.
Sullivan dances through three challenges and wins a free-kick on the edge of the box.
A BIG SAVE FROM MUSTAHIB
That was the best chance of the game: Cowell found space on the right and had the whole goal to hit. Instead of going for the corners, he smacked it right at the goalkeeper who got down well to save.
Gómez rushes a chance to set himself up on the left to cross the ball into the numerous attackers inside the box, but he wastes the opportunity, hitting the ball first time and seeing it float away from goal.
This time it's Cowell.
A cheap giveaway in their defensive third sees Cowell with time and space on the left but, just as his teammate did, he hits a powerful effort skyward.
Sullivan whacks a vicious shot from the edge of the box that zips over the bar!
Craig tries his luck from range but the Philadelphia Union player's shot flies high, wide and into the stands behind the goal.
Fiji's attack gets called for offside after they hoof a long-range free-kick into the box that was defended well.
Ali goes down after colliding with Ferkranus on halfway. He looks OK to carry on.
HUGE CHANCE FOR THE USA
Yapi comes close as the ball is played diagonally across the box and the forward manages to get a strong connection and fizzes a shot past the far post of the goal and wide.
It's taken ten minutes, but Raheem and Begg link up in the US defensive half, with the result coming to nothing as the USA pounce on the players.
Khan tussles with Yapi inside the box as the striker looks to pluck the ball away from the defender and run towards goal.
It's well defended (again) and the USA can't quite get that final touch on the move in the opening stages of the game.
A big chance for the USA!
Cowell receives the ball through the lines and plays a square pass across the box that is cleared away.
Raheem then does well at right-back for Fiji to stop the ball immediately being played back into the danger zone.
The US are zipping the ball around with a lot of confidence, forcing the Fijian concentration levels to maintain at ultra-high levels all across the pitch. The game is completely in the attacking half for Varas' side, and their off-ball movement is superb so far.
Austin FC's Wolff does well down the right but the ball rolls out of play for a goal-kick. The strong start continues.
We're back underway as Fiji resume the game with 10 players.
Kubu, playing at left-back today for Fiji, is down injured.
A quick start from the Americans, as they fire the ball up the pitch and win a corner that Fiji defend well.
Mustahib catches the header after the ball is whipped in from the left by McGlynn.
The USA are in all white, Fiji are all blue.
And we're off!
The USA kick us off in sunny Argentina.
We've got the national anthems now...
USA are up first.
And now Fiji, which is quite a slow song, I must say. Although the chorus is nice.
I call that a draw before the whistle.
Anyway, to the game!
A reminder of the starting XIs:
USA: Slonina, Halliday, Craig, Edelman, Sullivan, McGlynn, Cowell, Gómez, Ferkhanus, Wolff, Yapi
Fiji: Mustahib, Ravai, Kubu, Raheem, Vasconcellos, Aiyas, Saqiri, Dunn, Khan, Begg, Ali
Here come the players!
We're almost ready for kick-off!
Fiji showing huge national pride at the World Cup
Appearing for just the second time in the tournament, Fiji are proud to represent their tiny country in the South Pacific of just under 1 million people: it's a massive achievement for them to have qualified for the Under-20 World Cup.
The US have arrived!
Not only have the team arrived, but they're already out on the pitch for their pre-match warmup routine.
We've got just under half and hour to go until kick-off!
Who's the ref?
Mohamed Maarouf Eid Mansour is the man with the whistle today.
The 37-year-old Egyptian became a referee in 2014 and has overseen games in the CAF Champions League and CAF Confederations Cup this season, as well as the Egyptian Premier League.
Let's talk a moment about the senior USMNT. According to various sources, the next person in line to take over as head coach of the team is none other than Jesse Marsch.
The American's last job was a failed project at Leeds United, where he failed to get the fans on board with a style of play that was questioned by many.The Leeds board stuck with their man until after the World Cup, when they finally pulled the plugon the Marsch experiment.
JoGo spoke to FIFA+
“It’s an unbelievable feeling to score a last-minute winner,” the versatile Real Sociedad player told FIFA+ post-game. “I know as a team we wanted that victory. We were working for the victory until the very last minute, and at the end we were able to get it. It was important for the team and now we look forward to the next two games.”
“I’m very excited to have my dad out here, and I know the rest of my family’s out here in spirit,” said Gomez. “Just to have that support out here is really important to me. I’m glad he could watch that special moment and share that with me live.”
Fiji Starting XI:
DEF: Ravai, Kubu, Raheem, Vasconcellos
MID: Aiyas, Saqiri, Dunn, Khan, Begg
Nabil Begg of the Fiji Under-20s to FIFA+
You scored the only goal to qualify Fiji for the U-20 World Cup. How did that feel?
It was the greatest moment of my life. [I’m] not forgetting my team-mates. That goal that we scored, it actually started from the back. In the build up, every player touched the ball. It was a fast build-up. I’m just grateful and thankful to the Lord that I was there at the end to make the goal.
How were the celebrations?
It was a different atmosphere. I’ve never felt that kind of feeling in my life. Before the game, everyone was quiet. We were all tense because we knew what was at stake. Then, after the final whistle blew, and we got back to the changing room, it was a totally different atmosphere.
You were a trainee-electrician, now you're at the Under-20 World Cup...
I’m still really excited. I’m still really thankful to the Lord almighty. For us, being in this tournament is a really big achievement. We hope to go and showcase our talents and show that we can also play. It’s a really exciting moment because Argentina are the current world champions. It’s like a religion here, I think, because soccer is everywhere. Being here and playing in this country is going to be a different atmosphere.
USA Starting XI!
Here's how the USA line up for today's game. Five changes to the side that beat Ecuador in the previous game.
Let's not forget about Fiji
Sorry, US fans, if I'm looking for a tropical holiday, I'm getting a plane to Fiji. Their Under-20 World Cup campaign kicked off with a disappointing 4-0 defeat to Slovakia which sees them rock-bottom of the group, so they will be hoping for a more solid defensive display against another tough opponent.
They have taken part in 2 Under-20 World Cups and their best result in the World Cup came in 2015, their first time in the tournament, when they came bottom but beat Honduras 3-0 in the Group Stage.
How the USA did in the last Under-20 World Cup
In one sentence I can sum up how they did in the last THREE Under-20 World Cups: they got to the quarter-finals.
Yes, the USA have fallen at the same stage of the tournament in three consecutive editions, the most recent being in 2019 against Ecuador.
Timothy Weah scored for the US, led by Tab Ramos, to equalise after a goal from José Cifuentes but it was Jhon Espinozawho settled the tie and knocked the USA out at the QF stage after they have overcome an incredibly strong French team in the previous round.
Jonathan Gómez advised by one of his heroes...
The left-back took on board some wise words from Inter Miami defender, DeAndre Yedlin, who spoke to CBS after the USA's 1-0 win over Ecuador in the first round of the tournament.
The player talked about the hero of the game, Jonathan Gómez, and how he can best manage his feelings and potentially take the US all the way in the World Cup.
"I would just say keep enjoying the moment, stay present, keep scoring goals because we love to watch that and keep doing the country proud," the player said. "It's been really fun to watch you guys, we're going to continue watching and hopefully all the way through until you guys win the whole thing. We're all really proud of you."
"I appreciate it," Gómez replied, "I know you played in one of these tournaments yourself 10 years ago so I appreciate it, I know you're a World Cup vet as well, so I appreciate the words."
In a deadly smooth transition, like that of a radio presenter in their prime or a José Mourinho-style counter-attack, here's how you can watch the next round of the tournament on TV or online.
Here's how the table looks:
The USA sit second, just behind Slovakia but right on their coat-tails. The European side beat Fiji in the opening game by 4 goals to nil and as such sit top on goal difference.
To qualify to the next round, the US need to come in the top 2 of the group, or be one of the four best third-placed teams across the whole tournament. I promise I didn't read that from the tweet below...
Here are the other fixtures we've got today:
USA vs Fiji is the one we're all really excited for, but that's not to say that there aren't some other fantastic fixtures coming up later in the day. Argentina vs Guatemala is one that you'll be able to follow live on AS USA. I'll pop the link out for you later...
You may have noticed that Google plays a trick on you if you try to ask it where this World Cup is being played.
The initial response that the search engine gives you is that the tournament is being held in Indonesia. Lovely. But things aren't that simple.
Click on link number one and you'll quickly spot that San Juan is not in fact a refuge for Argentinian expats in south-east Asia, but a city just east of the Andes mountains.
So, the question remains:: why did FIFA, the great bunch of lads that they are, move the U-20 World Cup at such short notice?
USA: how the last game happened
The USA started off their under-20 World Cup campaign with three points after a late golazo from unlikely hero Jonathan Gómez sealed the win for the side. Ecuador looked to have defended their way to a precious point until the left-back scorched a shot into the top corner of the goal with seconds to spare.
Chances were at a premium in the opening stages of the game, with both sides struggling to get into their full flow. Diego Luna came the closest for the USA in the second half with a curling shot that spun agonisingly past the far post after a goalkeeping error had allowed him through.
La Tri continued to be a threat on the counter and on dead ball situations however the USA held them off well, knowing when to pick their moments to pin back the opposition.
This result means that the USA have a 1-1-1 record against Ecuador in the U-20 World Cup as the side look to improve on past performances at the tournament (which we'll get to later).
Hello and a big, warm welcome to the AS USA live coverage of the Under-20 World Cup in Argentina.
It's Joe here today to take you through the ups and downs of the upcoming fixture, and what a beauty it is: USA vs Fiji!