United States 4, Canada 1 | 2019 Concacaf Nations League Recap
The scoring began just under 100 seconds into the match, when the USMNT got their first corner kick. A near-post cross resulted in a sliced effort from Sergino Dest, which caromed to the back post and was tapped home by Jordan Morris for a 1-0 lead in the 2nd minute.
The USMNT then doubled their lead in the 23rd minute, and Morris was again at the heart of the move. The Seattle Sounders winger collected a long ball from Paul Arriola, and crossed it past an onrushing goalkeeper for teammate Gyasi Zardes at the top of the six-yard box. The Columbus Crew SC striker made no mistake, heading into the open net for a 2-0 lead.
The Americans added to their lead in the 34th minute on another set piece. This time, center back Aaron Long supplied the finish with a towering header, nodding home a precise free kick from Tim Ream to make it 3-0.
But it wasn’t all smooth sailing for the USMNT, as Canada clawed back a goal in the 72nd minute via Steven Vitoria. A corner kick was whipped to the near post, and the center back brushed home a flick-on from Jonathan Osorio that made it 3-1.
However, hopes of a comeback were halted in the 89th minute, when Zardes latched onto a poor clearance following a DeAndre Yedlin cross. Zardes volleyed home to the far post, and a slight deflection helped it past the 'keeper to seal the 4-1 victory.
- 2' – USA – Jordan Morris | WATCH
- 23' – USA – Gyasi Zardes | WATCH
- 34' – USA – Aaron Long | WATCH
- 72' – CAN – Steven Vitoria | WATCH
- 89' – USA – Gyasi Zardes | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: A heavy cloud has hung over the USMNT ever since they failed to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and it only darkened after last month’s 2-0 loss at Canada in Concacaf Nations League play. Friday night was a step forward for the USA with a more spirited, pragmatic performance all around. It came without goalkeeper Zack Steffen and attacker Christian Pulisic, but it included outside back Sergino Dest, who is now officially cap-tied to the USA. From a Canadian perspective, it’s a definite setback as they look to make the Hexagonal round of Concacaf qualifying for the 2022 World Cup. A point would have gone a long way, and the side’s late push was too little too late. Now it's the USA in the driver's seat to clinch a spot in the Nations League semifinals.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: We’re going with the goal that made it 2-0, and not just because of the direct play from the USMNT that was capped by Gyasi Zardes’s header. The whole sequence began with a lackadaisical effort from Jonathan David on a long ball, and then Canada's defense was exposed. It spoke to much of Canada's bite through the first 45 minutes.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Gregg Berhalter chose Gyasi Zardes over Josh Sargent for the starting XI, and the Columbus Crew striker validated his manager’s decision with a brace. Oft-criticized by fans for his play with the USMNT, Zardes strengthened his case for being included in the XI.
- USA: Nov. 19 vs. Cuba (7:30 pm ET | FS1, UniMas, TUDN) | Concacaf Nations League
- CAN: No matches scheduled