U.S. U17 MNT Defeats Canada, Wins Group

U.S. U17 MNT Defeats Canada, Wins Group
by Travis Clark
February 16, 2023
Players featured in this article:
GK | San Diego FC
Adrian Gill |  2024
MF | FC Barcelona
MF | Crew Academy
Tyler Hall |  2024
D | Inter Miami CF
Sawyer Jura |  2024
D | Portland Timbers
Cruz Medina |  2024
F | San Jose
MF | San Jose
MF | Feyenoord
Pedro Soma |  2024
MF | U.E. Cornella
MF | Dynamo
MF | Phil. Union
D | San Jose

Ahead of the Concacaf Championship, it was all but certain for the U.S. U17 MNT’s matchup with Canada to decide Group F.

And those were the stakes heading into Wednesday’s group finale against the Canadians. A draw or win would secure top spot in the group for the USA, thanks to a better goal difference.

It also had the look to be the most stringent test of the group stage. Another box checked, as the Canadians held the U.S. side at bay until the 65th minute. A glancing header from Keyrol Figueroa provided the winner.

Heading into the match, each side had already secured a spot in the Round of 16, as the top three from the group advance.

Canada kept the U.S. attack at bay in the first half, and chances were few and far between for both teams through the first 45 minutes. The U.S. moved the ball relatively well from back to front, though weren’t sharp enough to break down a well-organized Canadian defense. Ezekiel Soto had one of the best chances, but couldn’t muster a

Forward David Vazquez nearly put the U.S. in front in the 55th minute. He did extremely well to control a long diagonal into the box, spinning to get the ball on to his left foot and firing a shot just over.

Vazquez’s left foot did setup Figueroa’s winner. After the forward entered the match for Soto in the 61st minute, he found the back of the net five minutes later. Midfielder Adrian Gill recycled the ball to Vazquez in space, and he delivered a perfect, left-footed cross into the box that Figueroa glanced home.

That turned out to be the game’s lone goal, as the U.S. was able to control the bulk of possession for the game’s final 25 minutes plus stoppage time.

With the win, the U.S. advances to Saturday’s Round of 16 match against the Dominican Republic.

U.S. Lineup: Duran Ferree; Aidan Harangi, Tyler Hall (Pedro Soma), Christian Diaz, Oscar Verhoeven (Sawyer Jura); Edwyn Mendoza, Adrian Gill (Taha Habroune), Cruz Medina; Brian Romero (Paulo Rudisill), Ezekiel Soto (Keyrol Figueroa), David Vazquez

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