- USA finish top in Group F, Saudi Arabia progress to next round in third
- Abdulelah Alamri gets key equaliser for Asian side
- Brooks Lennon put USA ahead before Cameron Carter-Vickers saw red
Abdulelah Alamri clinched a FIFA U-20 World Cup knockout spot for Saudi Arabia thanks to a 1-1 draw with USA, finishing third in Group F.
With USA confirmed of qualification prior to kick-off, they were playing simply for their choice of opponent, while Saudi Arabia needed at least a point to earn progression. This state of affairs did not lessen the Stars and Stripes’ intent, however.
Breakout starlet Josh Sargent had already fired wide by the time Brooks Lennon had opened the scoring. Good work by Luca de la Torre brought a save from Amin Albukhari but, having spilled the shot, Lennon was on hand to tap in.
However, a major bump in the road arrived on the stroke of half-time, as Cameron Carter-Vickers received his second yellow card and give hope for Saudi Arabia.
Having been trying to hit USA on the counter in the first half, the Asian side moved on to the front foot, first forcing Jonathan Klinsmann into a smart save before six minutes later finding the key breakthrough. Alamri was the hero, rising highest to turn in a corner and see Saudi Arabia equal their best ever finish.