The United States U-20s did not exactly earn the result they were actually aiming for, but last Sunday's resilient efforts from them proved enough to finish at the summit of Group F. Despite U.S. defender Cameron Carter-Vickers' first-half dismissal, the 10-man United States team fervently held on to earn a 1-1 stalemate with the Green Falcons of Saudi Arabia in last Sunday's group-stage finale.

The stalemate was satisfactory enough for the young Americans to finish up as Group F leaders, securing a knockout stage game versus New Zealand on Thursday.

Brooks Lennon got the opener

Primarily a playmaker throughout the young Stars and Stripes' opening two matches, midfielder Brooks Lennon showed his qualities as a reliable goal scorer by firing the United States ahead in the forty-fourth minute.

The Real Salt Lake midfielder was on the end of some fantastic build-up play as Josh Sargent, Luca de la Torre, and substitute Sebastian Saucedo persistently attacked the Green Falcons backline. Luca de la Torre's close effort was punched away and eventually fell right in front of Brooks Lennon for a shot into the back of the net.

U.S. was reduced to 10 men minutes before halftime

The U.S. held on to its one-goal lead until the seventy-fifth minute when Saudi defender Abdulelah Alamir was “unmarked” for a free header, earning Saudi Arabia a hard fought equalizer and a spot into the knockout stage. The encounter's dramatic moments came towards the last minutes of first half. Defender Cameron Carter Vickers was earlier given a dubious yellow-card shortly before the United States took the lead for a clear foul in the center midfield.

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Few minutes before halftime, Carter Vickers was whistled for another apparent foul as he contested an aerial ball header, “prompting” a questionable yellow card from the center referee Diego Haro.

Klinsmann made several vital saves

On the defensive half, US goalkeeper Jonathan Klinsmann was forced into making several superb saves, with one coming quickly on a fifth minute chance. His biggest save came moments before the Green Falcons equalizer as the United States goalie Jonathan Klinsmann parried away a close range shot from Saudi Arabia midfielder Ayman Alkhulaif. Overall, the Green Falcons of Saudi Arabia out shot the United States U-20s 12–9 with five-shots of Saudi Arabia coming on target. United States U-20 Men's National Team head coach Tab Ramos made only just one substitution to his starting eleven lineup, substituting Eryk Williamson for Sebastian Saucedo.

Forging ahead

The United States U-20s now looks forward to Thursday's knockout stage clash with New Zealand U-20s, a team the young Stars and Stripes had in the past defeated 4-0 at the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup held in New Zealand.

Tottenham defender Cameron Carter Vickers will miss this upcoming game, and the United States will also be without the services of Aaron Herrera and Derrick Jones for Thursday's Round of Sixteen game, as both players were issued yellow-cards that apparently earned them one-match suspensions (if they go beyond this stage) for the crucial knockout round game.