USA sink Ecuador in stoppage time at U-20 World Cup as 19-year-old Jonathan Gomez beats goalkeeper from 20 yards to win tournament opener
- Jonathan Gomez’s injury-time explosion gave Team USA a thrilling 1-0 win
- Ecuador teenage sensation Kendry Paez’s team went off target
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Jonathan Gomez’s injury-time outburst gave Team USA a thrilling 1-0 win over Ecuador in the Under-20 World Cup opener in San Juan, Argentina on Saturday .
The 19-year-old received a cross pass from striker Owen Wolff before firing just outside the penalty area past goalkeeper Gilmar Napa and into the top right corner of the net.
The final whistle sounded a minute later.
The other two teams in Group B, Slovakia and Fiji, played late on Saturday.
Until Gomez’s winner, the best chance was on the hour after an embarrassing mistake by Ecuadorian Napa. His clearance hit his defender Christian Garcia in the face. The ball fell on American striker Diego Luna, who fired wide despite the empty goal.
Jonathan Gomez celebrates after scoring the game-winning goal for Team USA in Saturday’s win
Ecuadorian goalkeeper Gilmar Napa fails to block Jonathan Gomez’s first shot
Jonathan Gomez, center, of the United States celebrates with his teammates
Nicknamed ‘JoGo’ by his teammates, Gomez’s club career began with USL’s Louisville City in 2020 before moving to Real Sociedad B in Spain. He made his La Liga debut against RCD Mallorca in March 2022 and now has 41 appearances for the club.
Ecuador, the team of sensational teenager Kendry Paez, failed to manage a single shot on target.
The first goal of the tournament came from New Zealand, for whom Norman Garbett scored the only goal in the 80th minute to beat Guatemala in a Group A match. Later on Saturday, hosts Argentina faced Uzbekistan , Asian champion, in Santiago del Estero.
Argentina inherited Indonesia’s place in the tournament as hosts. Protests in Muslim-majority Indonesia against hosting Israel forced FIFA to change venues at a very late stage. Indonesia does not have formal diplomatic relations with Israel.