Luca De La Torre (#20) equalized late for the USA in a draw with Ecuador in the FIFA U-20 World Cup on May 22, 2017, in Incheon, Korea Republic. (Photo: FIFA via Getty Images)
INCHEON, Korea Republic – Luca De La Torre scored in the fourth minute of second-half stoppage time to give the United States a 3-3 draw with Ecuador in the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup opener for each on Monday at Incheon Stadium.
With the result, the sides sit in a tie for second in Group F, two points behind Senegal, which defeated Saudi Arabia later in the evening, 2-0.
After Ecuador went ahead 2-0 on early goals by Herlin Lino (5’) and Bryan Cabezas (64’), the Americans rallied to level as Josh Sargent struck before and after halftime.
Sargent, one of the stars of the recently-completed CONCACAF Under-17 Championship, halved in the deficit in the 36th minute, when he received a De La Torre feed in the right side of the box and finished with his right foot from 12-yards out.
Nine minutes into the second half, Sargent expertly headed home from seven yards off Brooks Lennon’s precise cross from the right to equalize at 2-2.
Ecuador regained the lead in 64th minute as a misplayed ball by U.S. goalkeeper Jonathan Klinsmann landed at the feet of Cabezas, who fired into the back of the net from 15 yards.
The goal set the stage for De La Torre’s heroics. Another dangerous Lennon cross was headed by an Ecuador defender, but didn’t escape the box. De La Torre reacted quickly to first-time it into the right side of the net with his right foot from 14 yards.
CONCACAF champion U.S. held a significant advantage in possession (61%-39%), but was outshot (12-6).
Next up for USA: Thursday, May 24 v Senegal