The USMNT U-20 team met an unfortunate end in the middle of the night as they fell to Serbia in the Quarterfinals in penalties. After holding Serbia to a 0-0 draw after 120 minutes, they lost 6-5 in PK’s despite two tremendous game extending saves by US goalkeeper Zack Steffen.
Here’s the highlights of the entire game
Here’s the highlights of the PK shootout
In the end, the USMNT just looked nervous when taking penalties. Particularly on their first (Rubio Rubin), seventh (Marco Delgado) and ninth (John Requejo), they simply looked like they were too worried about screwing up that they took weak PK’s almost into the middle of the goal. For instance, Delgado made his penalty but the ball was going so slow that Serbian goalkeeper Predrag Rajkovic was almost able to react one way and have enough time to go the other way to get the save.
While the USMNT should be proud of what they’ve done, they’ll rue the missed opportunity. Because Mali upset Germany, the United States would’ve had a dream path to the Final if they had beaten Serbia. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. Serbia was more mentally prepared to take the penalties and they deserved the win.