The United States youth national team picked up three points in its first game at the U-17 World Cup against South Korea. With three points secured, the United States can secure a spot in the knockout stage of the U-17 World Cup with a win. Its next opponent is Burkina Faso, which lost 3-0 against France on matchday one.
This upcoming game has more significance because of who the United States is playing in the third matchday. Not only is France one of the favorites in this year’s World Cup, but the French finished third at the last U-17 World Cup in 2019. A late goal from the eventual champions Brazil sent the French into the third-place playoff.
France has no shortage of talent. Therefore, the United States youth squad would like to secure a place in the next stage with a win over Burkina Faso. While it is not a mathematically secure spot if South Korea defeats France, the top two teams in each group automatically advance. Then, the four best third-place finishers would also advance. In all likelihood, six points are good enough in that regard. In any case, three points is the goal against Burkina Faso.
Recapping a win over South Korea
On Sunday, 15-year-old Nimfasha Berchimas scored two goals en route to the United States’ win over South Korea. The Charlotte FC youth product was one of a handful of players to score a brace on the first matchday. Between Berchimas’ goals, Cruz Medina, who represents the San Jose Earthquakes scored early in the second half. That goal proved to be the game-winner.
Despite the 3-1 win, it was not entirely smooth sailing for the United States. Berchimas scored his first goal in the seventh minute. However, South Korea equalized half an hour later to bring the game level into halftime. Yet, Berchimas and Cruz showed the United States was more clinical than their Korean counterparts.
Overall, South Korea had 24 total shots to the United States’ eight. The shots on goal were equal at seven per team. Still, South Korea had nine corner kicks to the Americans’ zero. That demonstrates the ball was in the United States’ half for an extended period.
Fortunately for the Americans, the youngest player on the team, Berchimas, became the fifth player to score multiple goals in one U-17 World Cup game for the United States. The others are Judah Cooks (1993), Taylor Twellman (1997), Freddy Adu (2003) and Tim Weah (2017).
United States eye six points against Burkina Faso at U-17 World Cup
The 15-year-old will lead the line again as the United States targets another three points against Burkina Faso. After France won 3-0 against the African nation, the United States is likely playing against the easiest opposition in its group. Much like South Korea against France, Burkina Faso is effectively in a must-win situation early in the U-17 World Cup. That poses a challenge to the United States, too.
Coverage of the USYNT’s game against Burkina Faso is at 4 a.m. ET on Wednesday, Nov. 15. Coverage is available on FS1.
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