US crushes New Zealand to reach Under-20 World Cup quarterfinals; Israel also advances

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — The United States reached the Under-20 World Cup quarterfinals in convincing fashion without conceding again after beating New Zealand 4-0 on Tuesday in Mendoza.

The Americans dominated the round-of-16 match to advance to the quarterfinals for the fourth consecutive U20 World Cup.

After a 14th-minute opener from Owen Wolff, son of former U.S. international and current Austin MLS coach Josh Wolff, the U.S. didn't score again until the 61st minute through Cade Cowell. Justin Che and second-half substitute Rokas Pukstas, a late addition to the squad, added on.

The U.S. is the only team yet to concede a goal in the tournament, and will next face either Gambia or Uruguay on Sunday.

The Americans had 8 shots on goal and restricted New Zealand to one, and overall outshot the Junior All Whites 22-3.

“We created really good chances, we controlled large portions of the game. If there’s something we can improve on, of course, we want to become more efficient with the chances we get," U.S. head coach Mikey Varas said. "But at the end of the day, the boys put four in the back of the net, (they’re) training great and I know that efficiency will come.”

“Really happy with this result, but the group is hungry for more — we'll wake up tomorrow and be focused on the next one.”

Later Tuesday, Israel produced a late winner to beat Asian champion Uzbekistan at Santiago del Estero, a second consecutive dramatic victory for the tournament rookies.

Anan Khalaili scored from close range with virtually the last kick of the match. The Israelis next face the winner of Wednesday's round-of-16 match between Brazil and Tunisia.


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