Luna Spark Lifts U.S. U20 Past Fiji

Luna Spark Lifts U.S. U20 Past Fiji
by Victor Olorunfemi
May 23, 2023

For all of the first half in the blistering Argentina heat, the U.S. dominated possession and had plenty of shots but could not find a breakthrough past Fiji, that was until Luna’s entrance at half-time, going on to score in the 66th minute and assist another in the 88th.

Coach Mikey Varas U.S. rolled out five new starters from Saturday’s game, and it looked like it at times, with the team struggling to convert their dominance into goals with plenty of near misses. Darren Yapi and Cade Cowell had a few half-chances they would have liked to have back in a first half filled with final-third frustrations.

The breakthrough finally came in the 66th minute as Luna slotted home a curling shot into the bottom left corner from just inside the 18. It was a deserved goal for the team and Luna, who changed the game's tempo upon entry.

Luna then had a hand in the second goal as he laid a pass to Cowell just outside the box, who did well to create a shooting angle before curling his shot past the goalkeeper. The last came with Caleb Wiley following a Brendan Craig indirect free-kick shot that rebounded off the post.

The backline and Gaga Slonina had very little to do with the U.S. finished the game with a 31 to 6 edge in shots. The win guarantees the U.S. will move on to the knockout stages for the fourth straight tournament. Friday at 2 p.m. EST against Slovakia will be the team's last group game.

U.S. Lineup: Gaga Slonina; Michael Halliday, Brandan Craig, Jonathan Gomez, Marcus Ferkranus; Daniel Edelman (Obed Vargas), Jack McGlynn, Owen Wolff (Niko Tsakiris); Quinn Sullivan (Diego Luna), Cade Cowell, Darren Yapi (Caleb Wiley)

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