- Venezuela are into their first U-20 World Cup semi-final
- Dominant South Americans taken to extra-time by resilient USA
- Adalberto Penaranda and Nahuel Ferraresi send them through
Venezuela are into the final four of the FIFA U-20 World Cup Korea Republic 2017 after a dominant display was forced into extra-time by a dogged USA, eventually earning a 2-1 win.
The rhythm of the game was a consistent one, though neither side will be particularly happy with the recurring themes. For USA, it was that they faced a constant barrage of pressure from Venezuela. For the South Americans, it was the fact they were remarkably profligate in front of goal.
The match was barely a minute old before Jonathan Klinsmann was forced into a fine save to deny Nahuel Ferraresi, before stopping Penaranda low to his right. Sergio Cordova thought he had broken the deadlock, but after the referee consulted the VARs, he was found to have been marginally offside before converting.
There was no change in the direction of traffic after the break, with Ronaldo Chacon rattling the bar within three minutes, before Cordova did likewise. The latter similarly spurned a great opportunity as he fired straight at Klinsmann, with a Penaranda cross later causing havoc as the disbelief at the scoreline was evident on both sides.
Erik Palmer-Brown almost completed an incredible smash-and-grab but failed to properly connect with a free header with the final touch of regular time. It was a costly miss, as Penaranda made up for spurning earlier opportunities by firing La Vinotinto ahead in extra time.
Ferraresi was also ultimately able to beat Klinsmann too. Crucially so as Jeremy Ebobisse almost instantly halved the deficit. However, it was not enough to deny Rafael Dudamel’s side extending their best-ever U-20 World Cup.