Ukraine prevailed 2-1 in a battle of contrasting styles at Bielsko-Biala Stadium, with their direct attack and compact defence outlasting USA’s possession-heavy game in their Group D opener at the FIFA U-20 World Cup Poland 2019.
Despite the early possession advantage for the Americans, Serhii Buletsa opened the scoring in the 26th minute to the delight of the pro-Ukraine crowd. One-on-one with a centre-back, Buletsa used his body to reel in a ball over the top and score from close range.
USA answered quickly, with Brandon Servania capping an intricate team move in the 32nd minute to equalise.
Ukraine tightened the clamps on the USA attack in the second half, and Buletsa would prove the catalyst again in his team’s match-winner. Denys Popov’s glancing header from Buletsa’s corner proved the difference in the 51st minute.