Under-20 Men's World Cup: USA will be assured of advancing with win or tie against Qatar

The USA knows its path to the round of 16 at the Under-20 Men's World Cup in Poland.

Tab Ramos' Americans will advance if they beat or tie Qatar, which opened the tournament with a 4-0 loss to Nigeria and 1-0 loss to Ukraine.

They could also go through as one of the four third-place teams if they lose to Qatar, but they would have to lose by less than three goals and likely need Argentina to beat South Korea on Friday.

The top two teams in each of the six groups advance, plus the four best third-place teams. Host Poland clinched one of the four third-place spots on Wednesday.

The USA will win the group if it beats Qatar by more goals and scores more goals than Nigeria beats Ukraine.

Through to the round of 16 ...
Group A Senegal (first-place), Colombia (second-place), Poland (third-place).
Group B Italy (first-place), Japan (second-place).
Group C New Zealand, Uruguay.
Group D Ukraine.
Group E France.
Group F Argentina.

Ramos is expected to make several lineup changes. Four players come into the Qatar game with yellow cards: Konrad de la Fuente, Chris Durkin, Chris Gloster and Alex Mendez.

Sebastian Soto, who scored both goals in the 2-0 win over Nigeria, Chris Richards, Tim Weah and Mendez all were injured or limped off at the end of Monday's physical match.

Ramos has the deepest team he has ever taken to the U-20 World Cup and hasn't used such players as goalkeeper David Ochoa, right back Julian Araujo, midfielders Edwin Cerrillo and Richie Ledezma and winger Uly Llanez.

Ochoa, Araujo and Llanez were all on the U.S. team that beat Mexico, 2-0, to win the 2018 Concacaf U-20 Championship title. Mexico exited on Wednesday with its third loss in three games -- its worst showing in 16 appearances at the U-20 World Cup.

Thursday's match will be the first meeting between the USA and Qatar since 1981 when they tied, 1-1. It was the only point the USA earned in its first appearance in the finals. Qatar went on to finish second at the tournament in Australia.

Wednesday, May 29
Group A Senegal 0 Poland 0. (Att.: 15,829.)
Colombia 6 Tahiti 0. (Sinisterra 8, 37, Hernandez 38, 42, 70, Caicedo 87. Att.: 4,693.)
Group B Ecuador 1 Mexico 0. (Plata 12. Att.: 4,208.)
Italy 0 Japan 0. (Att.: 6,702.)

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Thursday, May 23
Group A Senegal 3 Tahiti 0. (Sagna 1, 29, 50. Att.: 4,661.)
-- Poland 0 Colombia 2. (Angulo 23, Sandoval 90+3. Att.: 17,463.)
Group B Italy 2 Mexico 1. (Frattesi 3, Ranieri 67; De la Rose 37. Att.: 7,893.)
-- Japan 1 Ecuador 1. (Yamada 68; own goal 45. Att.: 3,018.)

Friday, May 24
Group C New Zealand 5 Honduras 0. (Own goal 8, Waine 17, 27, Singh 51, Conroy 90+2. Att.: 4,484.)
-- Uruguay 3 Norway 1. (Nunez 22, Ginella 29, B.Rodriguez 87; Borchgrevink 47. Att.: 4,626.)
Group D USA 1 Ukraine 2. (Buletsa 26, Popov 51; Servania 32. Att.: 4,310.)
-- Nigeria 4 Qatar 0. (Effiom 12, Offia 24, Dele-Bashiru 68, Salawudeen 74. Att.: 3,010.)

Saturday, May 25
Group E Panama 1 Mali 1. (Valanta pen. 87; Konte 39. Att.: 2,876.)
-- France 2 Saudi Arabia 0. (Fofana 43, Gouiri 75. Att.: 6,100.)
Group F Portugal 1 South Korea 0. (Trincao 7. Att.: 6,344.)
-- Argentina 5 South Africa 2. (Vera 4, Barco pen. 63, 71, Alvarez 78, Gaich 90+2; Phillips 23, Foster pen. 85. Att.: 8,351.)

Sunday, May 26
Group A Senegal 2 Colombia 0. (Niane pen. 34, Lopy pen. 85. Att.: 10,450.)
-- Poland 5 Tahiti 0. (Bednarczyk 18, Zylla 37, Steczyk 39, 61, Benedyczak 74. Att.: 15,894.)
Group B Japan 3 Mexico 0. (Miyashiro 21, 77, Tagawa 52. Att: 4,930.)
-- Italy 1 Ecuador 0. (Pinamonti 15. Att.: 6,717.)

Monday, May 27
Group C Uruguay 2 Honduras 0. (Acevedo 41, Schiappacasse 90+1. Att.: 6,173.)
-- New Zealand 2 Norway 0. (Stensness 71, own goal 83. Att.: 2,165.)
Group D Ukraine 1 Qatar 0. (Popov 59. Att.: 3,513.)
-- USA 2 Nigeria 0. (Soto 18, 46. Att.: 3,427.)

Tuesday, May 28
Group E France 2 Panama 0. (Zagadou 44, Cuisance 52. Att.: 5,656.)
Mali 4 Saudi Arabia 3. (Koita 36, Kone 54,  B.Traore 70, Camara 90; Al-Buraikan 9, Al-Tambakti pen. 20, Al-Ghannam 63. Att.: 1,707.)
Group F Argentina 2 Portugal 0. (Gaich 33, Perez 84. Att.: 11,874.)
South Korea 1 South Africa 0. (Kim Hyun-woo 69. Att.: 2,698.)

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