The Stars and Stripes of the United States of America defeated Martinique,an oversea region of France, by three goals to two in an exciting match played at Raymond James Stadium,Tampa,Florida,USA in the ongoing CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Martinique, it must be stated at once, is not a member of FIFA and as such it cannot partake in FIFA-organized competitions; however, the country is a member of CONCACAF AND CFU and is allowed to participate in competitions organized by both organizations.
Omar Gonzalez scored the first goal of the match. A powerful shot from Paul Arriola was pushed to his front by goal keeper kevin Olimpa; Gonzalez ,who had gone to opponent’s eighteen yard box to attack a corner kick, reacted quickly and shot the ball into the net.
The second goal of the match was scored by Jordan Morrison.He made a timely run into the opponent’s six yard box, from where he slotted into the net a weighted cross from Eric Lichaj.
Kevin Parsemain beat Brad Guzan with a powerful shot from outside the penalty box to make the scores two – one. He was on hand again to equalized the score of the match when Yodan Audel shot took a deflection from him that sailed above Guzan into the net.
Morrison won the game for his side when he hit a cross from Zardes into the net from the penalty box.
The Stars and Stripes were the more dominant side in the early exchanges.They dominated ball possession and posed more attacking threats than their opponent.
Jordan Morrison had a chance to put the USA ahead in the eleventh minute but failed to score from a crossed that found him unmarked inside Martinique’s penalty box – his header of the coss flew far away from the goal post.
Gyasi Zardes was very active at the left flank and was a source of attacking outlet for his team from that position, and he successfully dribbled past Nicholas Zaire from that position on several occasions.
The Les Matinino chose to sit back and defend in numbers.That approach exposed them to the attacking play of Morrison , Zardes and Juan Agudelo, who were denied several scoring opportunities by the well-drilled defense of Martinique and their own poor marksmanship .
As the game progressed, Martinique’s players grew in confidence and launched their own attacking play,and it took the good goal-keeping of Brad Guzan and the goal-post to prevent Parsemain from scoring in the first half.
Morrison had the opportunity to put the USA ahead in the final minute of first half.A deflected shot from Agudelo fell to the path of an onrushing Morrison, but his final shot ricocheted off the crossbar.
The second half resumed and the Americans became more purposeful in their approach to the game. Zardes remained a threat from the left flank and so was Arriola from the mid-field.
Morrison was making intelligent runs on and off the ball. He had a chance to score in the fifty first minute when his run with the ball put him in a one-on-one situation with Olimpia, but the keeper read his intention very well and was able to catch his poorly executed dink of the ball .
Second half substitute Bedoya Alejdro added more bite to the American’s attack, but he wasted the few scoring opportunities that came his way.
Martinique made strenuous efforts to score a third goal as the game entered its final minutes but the Americans were able to prevent them from getting a late equalizer.
With today’s victory USA now move to the top of Group B with four points from two matches, and are closely followed by Panama who have equal points but lower goal differential.