The US U-20 national team faced what was practically a must-win game on Monday in the 2017 CONCACAF U-20 Championship tournament in Costa Rica, and came through it in impressive fashion, defeating Mexico 1-0 and keeping their hopes of qualifying for the 2017 U-20 World Cup in South Korea alive.
Sporting Kansas City defender Erik Palmer-Brown had the game's lone goal, as his unstoppable header from a corner kick delivered by Real Salt Lake's Brooks Lennon in the 29th minute gave the Americans the edge, one which they wouldn't relinquish as they also kept their first clean sheet of the tournament.
The game was even through the first half, but following the restart, the Americans largely controlled the run of play, and held firm in the final minutes as Mexico attempted to bombard the US box, to no avail. It was Mexico's first loss at the U-20 Championship since 2009.
The win over Mexico was the United States' first at this age group in 31 years, and puts them in good position ahead of their final game of the classification stage in the CONCACAF U-20 Championship. They will face El Salvador in that game, on Friday at 6:30 pm ET.
If the US finish in the top two of their classification group, they'll advance to the U-20 World Cup. If they finish first in the classification group, they'll also reach the final of the U-20 Championship and go for their first-ever regional title in this age group.
USA Lineup (4-3-3): Jonathan Klinsmann -- Marlon Fossey, Tommy Redding, Justen Glad, Danny Acosta -- Tyler Adams, Erik Palmer-Brown (Capt.), Eryk Williamson (80' Jonathan Lewis) -- Brooks Lennon, Jeremy Ebobisse (57' Coy Craft), Luca De La Torre (90'+2 Jeremiah Gutjahr)
Subs not used: JT Marcinkowski, Sebastian Saucedo, Auston Trusty, Jonathan González, Emmanuel Sabbi