Not exactly a thing of beauty. A 3-2 win over minnows Martinique will not inspire tons of confidence, but the three points pulled the US even with Panama atop the Gold Cup Group B Wednesday evening in Tampa.
After a scoreless opening half the match turned into a wild on after the restart as the two teams combined for five second half goals. Omar Gonazalez put the Americans in front in the 54th minute whe he poked home from close range. Ten minutes later Jordan Morris looked to have put the game away doubling the US lead with less than half an hour to play.
That's when things got interesting as Martinique struck back. A lucky goal got the comeback started as a Johan Audel shot that was headed wide deflected off Kevin Parsemain who was lying on the ground and into the American goal. Suddenly it was 2-1 and game on. Only minutes later the match was shockingly 2-2.
Luckily the US answered back immediately regaining their lead. A nice run deep into the box from Gyasi Zardes initiated the danger. Zardes made the right decision and slid a perfect ball back across where the onrushing Jordan Morris arrived to fire into the roof of the net for the winning goal.
It simply was not a wonderful night. There was plenty of bad decision-making from the Americans all over the field. Whether it was an ill-advised shot, a heavy touch, a lightly hit ball or a failure to play a simple pass, there were too many lapses and miscues. It leaves the US with work to do on Saturday to win the group.
Currently the Americans are even on top with Panama on both points and goal differential. Next up is Nicaragua on Saturday while Martinique faces Panama. Advantage to the US as they will know exactly what they need to win the group with the Panama game being played beforehand.