The U.S. men’s national team was staring a lackluster goal-less draw in the face on Thursday night in Austin, Texas, until its persistent final-third attacking finally paid off and opened the floodgates.
A 3-0 CONCACAF Nations League quarterfinal first leg victory over Trinidad & Tobago now sets the Americans up in good position to advance to the Final Four of the competition and also seal a berth into the 2024 Copa America. Despite being held in check for 80 minutes, Gregg Berhalter’s squad eventually found a way past the 10-men Soca Warriors and can breathe easier heading into Monday’s second leg in Port of Spain.
“I think that the easy thing to do is credit Trinidad and say how much they fought and how they weren’t giving up, and how compact they were and I told the guys, ‘Listen, they played great,” said Berhalter postmatch in a press conference. “They really did, gave everything, but I think our guys matched that and then even exceeded it.
“We didn’t lose structure,” Berhalter added. “We didn’t lose determination to try to get the goals and then when we did, you see we kept going and were able to get three, which puts us in a very good position to advance. We know we still have work to do. We know there’s 90 minutes left, we’re not done. But big credit to the guys.”
The USMNT didn’t register its first shot on target until the 54th minute, despite having an extra man advantage from the 38th minute onward. The Soca Warriors were content with allowing the Americans to have ample possession, however, the USMNT didn’t start playing wider until the second half.
“We lacked a little bit of precision, and you see there was a lot of moves in the first half that were pretty good moves that just the final pass was missing, or the first touch was missing,” Berhalter said.
Robin Alam/ISI Photos
Ricardo Pepi and Brenden Aaronson’s entrances into the match certainly provided a spark, taking over for…
Source link : https://sbisoccer.com/2023/11/usmnt-shows-determination-structure-in-gritty-win-over-trinidad-tobago
Author : Larry Henry Jr
Publish date : 2023-11-17 13:31:52
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