Team USA sinks Ecuador in stoppage time at U-20 World Cup
Team USA sinks Ecuador in stoppage time at U-20 World Cup as 19-year-old Jonathan Gomez beats keeper from 20 yards out to take tourney opener
- Jonathan Gomez’s injury-time blast gave Team USA a thrilling 1-0 win
- Ecuador, the team of teenage sensation Kendry Paez, did not get a shot on target
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Jonathan Gomez’s injury-time blast gave Team USA a thrilling 1-0 win over Ecuador in the Under-20 World Cup opener in San Juan, Argentina on Saturday.
The 19-year-old took a crossing pass from striker Owen Wolff before firing from just outside the box passed goalkeeper Gilmar Napa and into the upper-right corner of the net.
The final whistle came a minute later.
The other two teams in Group B, Slovakia and Fiji, played late Saturday.
Until Gomez’s winner, the best opportunity was on the hour after an embarrassing mistake by Ecuador’s Napa. His clearance hit his defender Christian Garcia in the face. The ball fell to American striker Diego Luna, who shot wide despite the empty goal.
Jonathan Gomez celebrates after scoring Team USA’s winning goal in Saturday’s win
Ecuador goalkeeper Gilmar Napa fails to block the first goal shot of Jonathan Gomez
Jonathan Gomez, center, of the United States celebrates with teammates
Nicknamed ‘JoGo’ by teammates, Gomez’s club career began with the USL’s Louisville City in 2020 before he transferred to Real Sociedad B in Spain. He made his La Liga debut against RCD Mallorca in March of 2022, and now has 41 appearances for the club.
Ecuador, the team of teenage sensation striker Kendry Paez, did not produce a single shot on target.
The first goal of the tournament came from New Zealand, for which Norman Garbett scored the only goal in the 80th minute to beat Guatemala in a Group A game. Later Saturday, host Argentina faced Asian champion Uzbekistan in Santiago del Estero.
Argentina inherited Indonesia’s spot in the tournament as host. Protests in Muslim-majority Indonesia against hosting Israel forced FIFA into a very late switch of venues. Indonesia does not have formal diplomatic relations with Israel.