Concacaf: U.S. U17s rally past Canada, 3-2

Concacaf: U.S. U17s rally past Canada, 3-2
by Travis Clark
May 2, 2019

Three unanswered goals in the second half helped the U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team erase a two-goal deficit, rallying to a 3-2 win against 

Raphael Wicky's first competitive game in charge of the U.S. U17s got off to a rocky start. After the U.S. contolled possession for the first 20 minutes but offered little threat in the first 20 minutes, Canada struck twice in quickfire succession.

No one in the U.S. back line was alert to close down Jeremie Omeonga Nkoy at the back post, and he headed home a high, looping cross from Matthew Catavolo in the 21st minute. From the opening kickoff, Canada would strike again. Daniel Leyva lost possession almost immediately, and Catavolo charged forward with the ball. He found Jacen Russell-Rowe in space, and when no one closed him down, the TFC forward curled home the second goal of the game in the 22nd minute.

Shell-shocked after the pair of goals, the U.S. made it to halftime trailing 2-0. And when the took the field for the second half, things were different.

A moment of brilliance from Gianluca Busio four minutes after the break pulled one back for the U.S. Giovanni Reyna took on a pair of defenders in the right corner, and was able to get a cross off that drifted towards the top of the box. Busio connected with a first-time volley and found the back of the net to make it a 2-1 game.

As the second half progressed, the U.S. continued to improve, controlling possession while looking for the equalizer. It came from a set piece chance in the 63rd minute. A cleared corner kick fell to Kobe Hernandez-Foster at the top of the box. He lashed a volley back into the front of the goal that deflected off two Canadian defenders and into the path of U.S. center back Axel Alejandre. The North Carolina commit lashed home the tying goal into the roof of the net.

Six minutes later, Reyna stepped up to deliver the winner. Lining up a free kick from about 20 yards out, the former NYCFC Academy product lined up a shot that found the bottom corner.

A crucial save by Damian Las in stoppage time ensured the win, as he tipped a stinging volley from Toronto FC forward Jayden Nelson onto the crossbar to preserve the win.

U.S. Starting Lineup: Damian Las; Joseph Scally, Axel Alejandre, Kobe Hernandez-Foster, Adam Armour; Daniel Leyva, Bryang Kayo, Giovanni Reyna (Gilbert Fuentes); Gianluca Busio, Ricardo Pepi (Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez), Griffin Yow (Jack de Vries)

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