It certainly wasn’t the performance the U.S. Men’s National Team wanted, but it was enough to earn three points in a narrow win over a CONCACAF minnow.
A Jordan Morris brace saved the day for the USMNT en route to a 3-2 win over Martinique. The win lifts the USMNT atop Group B through two games following Wednesday’s disappointing draw with Panama.
Omar Gonzalez’s opener came in the 54th minute following an up-and-down opening half performance from the USMNT. Just 10 minutes later, Morris doubled the lead, tapping home an Eric Lichaj cross.
Seconds later, Martinique struck through Kevin Parsemain, whose long-range effort snuck under a diving Brad Guzan to make the score, 2-1. Unfortunately for Guzan, and the USMNT, the goal was followed up with a second from Johan Audel as the goalkeeper was left helpless on a deflection.
That tie lasted less than a minute before Morris fired his second, tapping home a Gyasi Zardes cross for what turned out to be the game-winning goal.
The USMNT generated chances early, but failed to truly test Martinique goalkeeper Kevin Olimpia. Morris was the focal point early, getting a pair of early looks, but the Seattle Sounders forward’s headed effort trickled wide early in what was the USMNT’s best look of the opening half.
Martinique, meanwhile, created a few looks of their own and looked the more likely to score in the first half. Brad Guzan was left beaten on one first half chance only to see the ball clang off the post while the Atlanta United goalkeeper made a stop on Parsemain on the lone shot on target in the first half for the underdogs.
The second half started with a bang as both sides generated several chances. Arriola smashed a shot off the crossbar from close-range moments into the second 45 before firing another chance straight at Olimpia. On the other end, Guzan was forced into another save due to some miscommunication with Matt Hedges.
From there, the game exploded with five goals and, when all was said and done, Morris had two of them as the U.S. sealed a back-and-forth win.
The USMNT now looks ahead to Saturday and the third and final group stage match against Nicaragua, who lost, 2-1, to Panama in Wednesday’s other match.