United States edged by Ukraine to start Under-20 World Cup
Keita Aboubacar of the United States # 13 in action against Khakhlov Oleksiy of Ukraine in a match of Group D of the FIFA U-20 World Championship on May 24, 2019 at the Bielsko-Biala Stadium, Bielsko Biala, Poland. (Photo courtesy of FIFA)

BIELSKO-BIALA, Poland – The United States was narrowly defeated by Ukraine 2-1 in its 2019 FIFA Under-20 World Cup opener in Group D on Friday night at the Bielsko-Biala Stadium in Biesko-Biala, Poland.

The United States came out strong and looked for an early goal, only for Ukraine to strike for the opening score thanks to a tidy finish from Serhiy Buletsa in the 26’ for a 1-0 Ukraine lead.

The response from the U.S. was immediate, and six minutes later in the 32’ Brandon Servania pulled the 2018 Concacaf Under-20 Championship winners level 1-1 by turning in Tim Weah’s cross from the left for the goal.

Ukraine would regain the momentum and the lead at the start of the second half, with Denys Popov thumping in a header off a corner kick in the 51’ to make it 2-1 to the Europeans.

The U.S. looked to equalize yet again, only this time the Ukrainian defense would prove to be too strong, leaving the U.S. empty-handed as the final whistle blew.

The U.S. will look to bounce back on Monday against Nigeria.