— Telemundo Deportes (@TelemundoSports) November 17, 2016
The United States jumped on New Zealand with two goals in the opening eight minutes, including one from Mal Pugh, on the way to a 3-1 victory that put them atop Group C at the U-20 World Cup in Papua New Guinea.
Ashley Sanchez delivered the lead for Michelle French’s side before Pugh doubled it on eight minutes. New Zealand made it interesting when Isabella Coombes cut into the lead in the 76th minute but the drama was short-lived with Ally Watt entering the match in the 79th minute and restoring a two-goal lead in the 82nd.
The U.S. need only a draw with Ghana on Monday to assure passage to the quarterfinals. Several scenarios also exist that will see them through with a loss.
Elsewhere in Thursday action at the U-20 World Cup:
France 2-2 Ghana
Clara Mateo scored in the 5th minute of stoppage time to give France their second straight draw and put them in position to advance by beating New Zealand Monday. France led early through Delphine Cascarino but Ghana equalized just before halftime (Sandra Owusu-Ansah) and took the lead in the 65th minute (Jane Ayieyam).
Ghana had a chance to expand the lead in the 82nd minute but Samira Abdul-Rahman misfired from the penalty mark.
Germany 3-0 Mexico
Germany moved to the brink of the quarters with a 3-0 drubbing of Mexico. Stefanie Sanders bagged a brace and Saskia Matheis scored as well. All three goals came in the second half for a German side that has outscored opponents 6-1 through two matches.
All is not lost for Mexico who finish group play against Venezuela and still stand an excellent chance of progressing.
South Korea 3-0 Venezuela
Venezuela held Korea off the board deep into the second half until a Namgung Yeji penalty in the 77th minute opened the floodgates. Han Chaerin added another just three minutes later and Kim Seongmi iced it in the closing minute.
Korea are now level with Mexico for second in Group D but face group leaders Germany in Monday’s finale while Mexico face Venezuela.
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