BRADENTON, Florida – A ticket to the 2019 FIFA Under-20 World Cup will be at stake on Friday when the United States squares off against Costa Rica on Matchday Two of Group G in the Qualification Stage.
A win from either side would cement a place in next summer’s Under-20 World Cup in Poland.
The Ticos are coming off a hard-fought 1-1 draw with Honduras on Tuesday in the opening round of the Qualification Stage and now take on a U.S. team that led the Group Stage in goals scored (39).
But Costa Rica showed against the Catrachos why it is one of the best defensive teams in the tournament after allow zero goals in the Group Stage and just a single score on Tuesday night.
That Costa Rican defense can expect a sturdy test from a high-flying U.S. attack that has three players with at least five goals in the tournament: Ulysses Llanez (6), Alex Mendez (5) and Ayo Akinola (5).
The match marks the debut for the U.S. in the Qualification Stage, as the reigning CU20 champions will be seeking a 16th Under-20 World Cup berth, while Costa Rica will be aiming for its 10th World Cup appearance at the Under-20 level.