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Luis Gil misses penalty, creates goal on free kick as US U-20s draw with France

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USA TODAY Sports

Luis Gil put in a mixed performance for the United States under-20 national team in a 1-1 draw today against France, with the U.S. hunting for a third-place spot in a difficult group in the Under-20 World Cup.

While Gil sometimes looked very effective against a difficult France side made largely of professionals, he struggled to see much of the ball during his 90-minute performance. This is only partly attributable to Gil, as the whole of the midfield struggled to make much happen throughout. He did pop up in good positions at times and had a fine opportunity at goal in the second half, but a weak shot was easily saved.

Gil's worst moment, however, came when the U.S. won a penalty and he tamely hit his take just to the keeper's left side, and as a result, France goalkeeper Alphonso Areola made a relatively easy save.

Gil's best moment came not long after, when he played in the pass that led to a set piece goal for the States. Daniel Cuevas of Santos Laguna scored that, the only goal for the U.S., capitalizing on a scramble in the box on a set piece. The free kick in a good position outside the box was taken low by Gil into an attacker, whose looping first touch caused a bit of chaos in the box. The set piece had an air of having been planned about it, but regardless, Gil did very well to spot a player free in the box with his low, driven pass.

With only one point, the U.S. will likely need to defeat Ghana on Friday to reach third place and have a chance at making the knockout stage of the tournament.