USA Squeeze Past Martinique 3-2 In Gold Cup

The U.S. Men’s National Team utilized a brace from Jordan Morris and single strike from Omar Gonzalez to earn a wild 3-2 victory against Martinique in its second match of the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup in front of 23,368 fans at Raymond James Stadium. With the win, the U.S. moves atop Group B with four points and closes out the Group Stage with a clash against Nicaragua on Saturday, July 15 at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio (7 p.m. ET on FXX, Univision and UDN).

The U.S. threatened early, with Gyasi Zardes finding success operating down the left flank, leading to two chances for Morris inside the first 15 minutes. Morris’ front line partner got in on the action, coming close in the 27, before Zardes saw his own chance well held by Martinique goalkeeper Kevin Olimpa four minutes later.

Martinique pushed back with two golden chances from Kevin Parsemain before halftime. In the 32nd minute, the striker’s low effort was partially deflected by U.S. defender Justin Morrow before it rang off the right post. Twelve minutes later, the forward took advantage of a turnover at the back before powering a long-range effort that forced Brad Guzan into a diving stop.

A furious pace was set early in the second half and resulted in the U.S. taking the lead inside the first eight minutes. After a Kellyn Acosta corner kick was cleared, Paul Arriola’s effort was well saved by Olimpa, but veteran defender Omar Gonzalez was there to pounce on the rebound in the 53rd minute. The U.S. pulled further ahead when a nice connection between substitute Alejandro Bedoya and Eric Lichaj led to Jordan Morris’ goal from close range in the 64th.

Undeterred, Martinique pulled level with the U.S. thanks to a thoughtful finish from Parsemain in the 66th minute, before the forward bagged his second thanks to a lucky deflection off a shot from Johan Audel in the 74th.

The U.S. battled back ahead though, when Zardes and Morris connected on a nice one-two combination, allowing the Seattle Sounders FC attacker to smash home his second of the match (the game-winner) two minutes later. The brace saw Morris double his international goal total and earned the 22-year-old Budweiser Man of the Match honors in the process.

In Wednesday night’s other Group B match, Panama came from behind to beat Nicaragua 2-1, leaving the U.S. level with Los Canaleroson four points.