UNDER-17 CONCACAF CHAMPIONSHIP: The United States defeat the Soca Warriors 2-0 on Monday.
By Jorge Belon, Managing Editor
The United States survive the Trinidad & Tobago scare and hold on to win 2-0 on Monday at the Estadio Francisco Morazán in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.
Joe Gallardo Jr. broke the ice on the 31st minute with a set piece right on the top of the penalty box; he stood over the ball and stared without blinking directly to the bottom right hand corner of the net. After the referee blew his whistle he wasted no time and sent the ball low and to the right hand post to give the Yanks the 1-0 lead.
Gallardo scored his fourth goal of the tournament in two games, currently placing him first in the Golden Boot Award.
However, even after taking the lead the Americans were not out of the woods just yet. The Soca Warriors attacked relentlessly on the Yanks back line as they took 10 shots, compared to Cuba’s four shots taken in their first match. This ended in a 5-0 victory for the U.S on Friday in Honduras.
Three minutes after conceding a goal Trinidad & Tobago almost level the match when U.S. goalie William Pulisic misjudged his approach on a cross and mishit the ball. If it was not for his clearance the ball would have bounced into the back of net and the match would have been tied.
Though the Americans survived the half, but the gritty and physical play from the Caribbean nation forced the heavy favorite U.S. team into a fierce competitive match as both teams combined for 36 fouls and three yellow cards.
In the second half, the Yanks finally broke the backs of the Soca Warriors with Haji Wright speeding by two T&T defenders with the ball and running into the heart of the box. The goalie closed his angle but the Los Angeles native kept his cool and finished with style as the ball glided on the grass to the bottom right hand corner to guarantee the United States the 2-0 victory at the 71st minute.
The U.S. is now 2-0 and with a positive seven goal differential they are sitting in first place of group A with six points. A victory in their next match against Guatemala on Thursday at the same location will have them one foot in the door of the Under-17 World Cup this fall in Chile.
Highlights provided by CONCACAF.