USMNT U-23s overcome slow start to roll over Dominicans and stay perfect in Olympic qualifying

USMNT U-23s overcome slow start to roll over Dominicans and stay perfect in Olympic qualifying

CONCACAF OLYMPIC QUALIFYING

USMNT U-23s overcome slow start to roll over Dominicans and stay perfect in Olympic qualifying

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Jason Kreis insisted his team knew it had to deliver a better performance on Sunday after a lackluster Olympic qualifying opener against Costa Rica. The Americans didn’t play like it though in the first half of Sunday’s qualifier against the Dominican Republic.

They endured another lackluster team display in the first half, but second-half substitute’s sparked the U.S. attack, which broke through with four second-half goals that helped them dispose of the feisty underdogs from the Dominican Republic.

Jackson Yueill broke the deadlock in the 61st minute when he deftly redirected a pass from Sebastian Saucedo into the Dominican net to give the Americans the lead before Hassani Dotson came off the bench to put the match to bed with a pair of outstanding finishes in a 4-0 victory in Guadalajara, Mexico.

The U.S. team’s second win in two Olympic qualifying matches will secure a place in the semifinal round if Mexico can beat or tie Costa Rica in their group-stage clash on Sunday night.

Kreis made six changes to the side that beat Costa Rica, but the fresh legs didn’t translate to many scoring chances or attractive soccer as the Americans struggle to break down the feisty Dominicans in the first half.

Even the halftime inclusion of Sebastian Soto for Jesus Ferreira couldn’t generate much for the American attack, but Kreis’ team finally found the breakthrough in the 61st minute when Yueill struck a clever side-heal shot to redirect a Sebastian Saucedo pass and give the Americans the lead.

Yueill’s opener came just before Kreis introduced Dotson and Djorjde Mihailovic and the pair provided an immediate spark to the U.S. attack, helping open up the Dominican defense.

Dotson scored his first goal just 11 minutes after entering, collecting a Mihailovic pass before completing an excellent finish.

The Minnesota United midfielder hit another well-struck finish just five minutes later, receiving another pass from Mihailovic to complete his brace and make the score 3-0.

Mihailovic finished the scoring in the 90th minute when he converted a Benji Michel cross to complete the 4-0 rout.

The Americans will now close out group play on Wednesday against Mexico with a chance to win its group ahead of the decisive semifinal round.

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