AUSTIN, Texas — United States males’s nationwide workforce supervisor Gregg Berhalter praised his facet for sticking to its activity, and delivering a late flurry of targets in a 3-0 win over 10-man Trinidad and Tobago within the first leg of the quarterfinals of the Concacaf Nations League.
The U.S. dominated possession, and got a big benefit within the thirty seventh minute when T&T defender Noah Powder was ejected for a second yellow card after hauling down U.S. midfielder Weston McKennie.
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But the Soca Warriors proved troublesome to interrupt down, and when a Sixty fourth-minute penalty was overturned by VAR, it did not appear to be the USMNT’s night time. But substitute Ricardo Pepi put the U.S. in entrance within the 82nd minute, turning house Antonee Robinson’s centering feed, and that opened the floodgates. Robinson added a second 4 minutes later when his long-range strike discovered the online, with the assistance of a deflection. Gio Reyna rounded out the scoring with a tally within the 89th minute. Now the U.S. will try to complete the job in Monday’s second leg in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad.
“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. They really did, gave everything, but I think our guys matched that and then even exceeded it,” mentioned Berhalter.
The U.S. supervisor added that his workforce. did not panic, and persevered in a bid to discover a breakthrough.
“We didn’t lose structure. 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,” he mentioned. “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 match will nonetheless increase questions concerning the effectiveness of the U.S. assault, given how lengthy it took to get the primary aim of the match, in addition to the truth that it had a person benefit for over 53 minutes.
“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,” he mentioned.
Berhalter admitted that his facet was “maybe a little bit too intricate, where you could have probably gotten the ball in the box a little bit more” as an alternative of blending issues up and taking extra pictures from distance.
It helped that Pepi continues to ship in a super-sub function. His aim was his seventh for the U.S. in 2023, and his fifth off the bench, probably the most ever for a USMNT participant in a calendar 12 months.
“All he does is when he gets the opportunity, takes advantage of it,” mentioned Berhalter about Pepi. “And he’s in a great spot. If you think about his situation, his [club] team in the league is undefeated, doing well in the Champions League. Compared to last year, his team was relegated.
The year before he wasn’t playing at Augsburg. So he’s significantly increased his situation. He’s gotten much better for us. He’s established himself as a guy that’s hard to take out because he keeps performing and I think he’s in a great spot.”