U20WC: On-target U.S. tops New Zealand, earns quarterfinal berth

USA players (pictured) celebrate after scoring against New Zealand in a FIFA U-20 World Cup Round of 16 match on June 1, 2017, in Incheon, Korea Republic. (Photo: FIFA via Getty Images)

INCHEON, Korea Republic -- The United States scored five goals in the second half to beat New Zealand 6-0 in the Round of 16 at the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup on Thursday. 

The win at Incheon Stadium earned the CONCACAF champion a June 4 meeting with Venezuela – a 1-0 winner over Japan on Tuesday – in the quarterfinals. 

Josh Sargent opened the scoring in the 32nd minute, when Brooks Lennon's right-sided corner kick made its way to Real Salt Lake teammate Justen Glad.  The defender then took a shot that deflected off Sargent's knee and past goalkeeper Michael Woud. 

With his fourth goal of the tournament, 17-year-old Sargent tied Taylor Twellman (1999), Eddie Johnson (2003) and Jozy Altidore (2007) for the most scored by a U.S. player at the FIFA U-20 World Cup.  The goal also leveled Sargent with Venezuela's Sergio Cordova for the Golden Boot lead. 

The Americans didn’t find the back of the net again until the second half, but once it did, the floodgates opened wide. 

In the 64th minute, Sargent’s flicked header found Jeremy Ebobisse, who blasted a left-footed effort from outside the box past Woud and just under the cross bar 

The advantage was increased to 3-0 a minute later as Lennon sprinted past the New Zealand -- after receiving a well-weighted pass from Eryk Williamson – and slotted past Woud. 

Glad got on the scoresheet in the 76th minute, after his header off Lennon’s right-sided corner kick was initially saved by Woud, it still managed to backspin over the line. 

Auston Trusty fired a Sebastian Saucedo feed beyond Woud to make it 5-0 in the 84th minute, while Lagos Kunga struck in the third minute of stoppage time to punctuate the scoreline. 

The 6-0 result ties the USA's record for its largest margin of victory at the FIFA U-20 World Cup.  In 1993, the Americans defeated Turkey by the same score. 

Next for USA: Sunday, June 4 v Venezuela (Quarterfinals)