Through two matches of the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup Group Stage, Columbus Crew SC Homegrown Player and United States centerback Aboubacar Keita has posted two respective complete-game performances against Ukraine and Nigeria.
Keita’s steady presence at centerback has helped guide the U.S. to three points so far in Group D play, including a 2-0 win over Nigeria on March 27. The Stars and Stripes' final Group Stage match is set to take place on Thursday, May 30 against Qatar, which remains in fourth-place in the group.
Currently, the U.S. remains tied with Nigeria on points with three, though Nigeria currently maintains a one-goal margin in goal-differential (2-1), which is the first tie-breaking procedure.
Crew SC Head Coach Caleb Porter spoke on Keita’s play in the World Cup and what these opportunities mean for his progression as a professional.
“I think he has been great. It has been good to see. Good experience for him and I am really pleased to see what he has been doing,” Porter said. “It is good for him to gain those experiences as a young player. It is all about making steps in your career and he is making steps forward right now.”
Following their shutout win over Nigeria, the U.S. will be considered the favorite in its match against Qatar at Stadion Miejski in Tychy, Poland on March 30. As for the opponent, Qatar fell 4-0 to Nigeria on May 24 before suffering a short-handed 1-0 defeat against Ukraine on March 27.
With a potential spot in the knockout phase, kickoff on Thursday is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. ET on FS2 and Universo.