Reyna and Pulisic goals help USMNT beat Northern Ireland, extending winning streak to five

Reyna and Pulisic goals help USMNT beat Northern Ireland, extending winning streak to five

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Reyna and Pulisic goals help USMNT beat Northern Ireland, extending winning streak to five

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Things are clicking right now for the U.S. Men’s National Team, and it has a first road win vs. a European nation in six years to show for that.

The USMNT used goals from Giovanni Reyna and Christian Pulisic on either side of halftime to record a 2-1 victory over Northern Ireland on Sunday. The narrow win at Windsor Park in Belfast was the Americans’ first as visitors against a European side since 2015, and extended their current winning streak to five games.

Reyna provided the opener at the half-hour mark with a deflected shot while Pulisic added the eventual winner in the 59th minute with a penalty kick he earned. Northern Ireland made things tight late, however, with a ferocious half-volley from Niall McGinn.

The USMNT had multiple opportunities to make it 3-0 during the final 30 minutes, including on a couple of looks by substitute striker Daryl Dike, but could not put them away.

Gregg Berhalter’s side opened the scoring with its first shot of the match, as Reyna unleashed a shot from distance that took a big deflection before looping into the back of the net.

Pulisic doubled the USMNT lead just before the game reached an hour, firing a low penalty home after being fouled in the 18-yard box.

Substitute midfielder Brenden Aaronson could have made it 3-0 five minutes later, but he awkwardly hit the ball over the frame after getting on the end of a cross from Antonee Robinson.

Dike then came up with a pair of chances that almost gave him his first international goal. He had a 78th-minute look saved by the foot of Northern Ireland goalkeeper Conor Hazard, and was denied again minutes later on a chance at the near post.

The inability to find a third and put the game well out of reach made for a nervier finish. McGinn hit a thunderous effort in the 88th minute that soared over USMNT goalkeeper Zack Steffen, but the Americans held on to grab their first road victory vs. a European nation since beating Germany, 2-1, on June 10, 2015.

Sunday’s match also served to cap-tie Yunus Musah to the United States as his fourth national team appearance. Bryan Reynolds also made his USMNT debut on Sunday, replacing Sergino Dest at halftime and marking his debut by playing a role in the sequence that led to Pulisic’s goal.

The USMNT will reconvene in a couple of months, as a friendly away to Switzerland is scheduled for May 30.

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