Rubin, Steffan Come Up Big for the Americans as they Advance to the Quarterfinal of the U20 World Cup

Rubio Rubin slotted home in the 58th minute and Zack Steffan came up huge for the Americans in the 83rd minute, stopping a Barrera spot kick, as they managed to hang on to a 1-0 victory -- despite being down to ten men --  over Colombia to advance to the next round of the U20 World Cup. 

The Stars and Stripes started out very aggresively as the they earned a corner kick inside the first minute; but a foul inside the box negated any scoring opportunity and Colombia tried to break quickly down the other way. Young Bradford Jameison went down in a collusion down by his own box, grabbing his shoulder and unfortunately for the Galaxy product, he would have to come off earlyin this one as Real Salt Lake winger Jordan Allen. 

Zapata had a shot from the top of the box goes well over the top of the goal, but it could be a sign for what's to come throughout the match. USA's first dangerous attack came in the 18th minute through Zelalem, lays the ball off to Acosta who eventually has his effort blocked and cleared away from the danger zone. 

Rubio Rubin got on the end of a fantastic long ball, however, he just did not have support around the box and was eventually crowded out by a plethora of Colombian players who won the ball in the 22nd minute. Then, Allen delivered a good ball from the left towards the far post but Arriola barely missed his header four minutes later. The South Americans had a couple of shots down the other end, but both of them were blocked at the top of the box by Carter-Vickers and Acosta. In the 31st minute, Rubin found Gedion Zelalem excellently and the Arsenal youngster had a go from a difficult angle. His effort, though, was stopped easily by Alvaro Montero.

Colombia had a dangerous free kick opportunity in the 35th minute from a tight angle that was handled really well by the American defense, especially Miazga who played a critical role in clearing the first ball. They had another chance a few minutes before halftime and the yellow shirts got in behind the defense and a very teasing cross was deflected out by Payne. 

Los Cafeteros started the second half as they ended the first with lots of ball possession and were able to find space in the midfield to put pressure on the USA back line. Steffen came up with a huge save in the 50th minute to keep the match level at zero. Delgado gave the ball away cheapily in the 54th minute, but thankfully for the Americans, their mistake was not punished as the effort from the top of the box completely missed the target. For Colombia, Zapata had a left-footed effort soar wide of the far post minutes later as they probably felt that a goal was coming

Then a minute later, completely against the run of play, the United States struck first right before the hour mark through an absolutely stunning strike from Rubin. Emerson Hyndman flicked a header towards Arriola who had his initial shot blocked. Fortunately, the ball fell straight to the goal scorer who thumped it in from outside the box. Rubin had another go from outside the box and rifled the ball a few inches over the top of the goal, even though he did have a bit of help on either side of him, in the 65th minute.

That goal from the Americans really killed the flow of the match as it gave them the confidence to be able to hold onto the ball and really get some good possession and forced Colombia to chase the match for a good ten minutes afterwards. Montero dropped the ball following a corner in the 74th minute and Arriola nearly pounced on the mistake but he just was not close enough to the ball to really cause any havoc. The South American nation turned on the jets in the final ten minutes or so as they probed for that equalizing goal and were awarded a penalty in the 81st minute. It was Acosta who was called for the penalty and given his second yellow card of the match. 

Barrera stepped up to the spot but his effort was saved very well by the Freiburg goal keeper and gave Colombia the ensuing corner. Off of that corner, there was nearly a goal but Arriola was there on the goal line to clear the danger in the 83rd minute of the match. 

The United States now goes on in this competition and will face a surprisngly good Serbian side for a spot in the semi-finals. 

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