SANDY, Utah (AP) – All the United States kept alive its bid to reach the Rio Olympics.
Marc Pelosi and Jordan Kiesewetter scored second-half goals and the U.S. beat Canada 2-0 on Tuesday to finish third in the CONCACAF qualifying tournament and set up a playoff game against Colombia for a spot in Rio.
“We knew we didn’t play our game against Honduras, Pelosi said. “We knew if we just played how we always play against Canada, we were going to come out with a win and we did that. They didn’t have many chances. We dominated the game and we’re happy we’re still on the road to Rio.”
Pelosi scored in the 69th minute, blasting a shot from top of the 18-yard box when the ball rolled to his feet after a scramble off a corner kick. Kiesewtter made it 2-0 in the 84th when he curled a penalty kick past goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau.
The U.S. created plenty of scoring chances in the first half, outshooting Canada 13-2. Three of those shots were on goal. It controlled possession for much of the half, but struggled to finish chances in the final third.
“We felt like we were the better team,” said U.S. assistant coach John Hackworth, who coached the team with head coach Andi Herzog suspended from the match after getting a red card against Honduras. “We felt like we were playing better and eventually we felt like we were going to break them down.”
Canada played with only 10 players the entire second half after midfielder Giuliano Frano received a second yellow card before halftime. Frano was issued yellow cards in the 32nd and 44th minutes.
It helped open up things for the U.S. The U-23 team tallied nine shots on goal out of 15 total shots in the final 45 minutes. On the other side, Canada created just three total shots in 90 minutes.
Now the U.S. must prepare to face Colombia in March in Rio de Janeiro. It is a bittersweet pill for the U-23 team to swallow after it performed so well in the group stages before stumbling against Honduras on Saturday.
“We expected to come out and get a result in that game and it didn’t happen for us,” U.S. forward Jordan Morris said. “We had to bounce back, come back and win this game today and we did.”
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