The USA's Maki Tall celebrates after scoring against Myanmar during their FIFA U-20 World Cup match on May 30, 2015, in Whangarei, New Zealand. (Photo: FIFA via Getty Images)
WHANGAREI, New Zealand – The United States scored once in each half to edge Myanmar 2-1 in the FIFA U-20 World Cup opener for each on Saturday at the Northland Events Centre.
After Yan Naing Oo gave Myanmar an early lead, the Americans rallied through goals from Maki Tall and Emerson Hyndman.
With the win, the U.S. (1-0-0, 3 points) sits atop the Group A table with three points, followed by tournament-host New Zealand (0-1-0, 1 point) and Ukraine (0-1-0, 1 point), which drew 0-0 earlier in the day.
In its U-20 World Cup debut, Myanmar made an immediate mark, taking a ninth minute lead. U.S. goalkeeper Zack Steffen couldn’t bring in a left-sided corner kick at the near post, but Oo was able to find a slight opening and slot home with his right foot from one-yard out.
Eight minutes later, the U.S. was on equal terms. The impressive Hyndman delivered a corner from the left, which the unmarked Cameron Carter-Vickers was able to direct with his head to the far post. Tall slipped behind the defense, sliding to right-foot the ball high into the net.
The CONCACAF side netted the game-winner in the 56th minute and it was Hyndman getting on the scoresheet. Off a swift counterattack, Rubio Rubin received a long pass out of the back inside Myanmar’s end. He ran down the left side, before shifting towards the middle and finding a hustling Hyndman. The Fulham midfielder dribbled into the box and placed a right-footed effort into the left side of the net from 12-yards out.
The U.S. returns to action on Tuesday against New Zealand, while Myanmar will take on Ukraine.