U.S. Men’s National Team Defeats Ecuador 1-0 After Zardes’ Late Goal At Orlando City Stadium

By  //  March 22, 2019

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USA MOVES TO 3-0-0 UNDER HEAD COACH GREGG BERHALTER

ORLANDO, FLORIDA (USMNT) – The U.S. Men’s National Team used an 81st minute strike from Gyasi Zardes to earn a 1-0 victory against Ecuador in front of 17,442 fans at Orlando City Stadium.

With the win, Gregg Berhalter became the second MNT head coach to begin his tenure with three straight victories.

After controlling the flow of much of the match, the USA found the game-winner through Zardes, who collected a pass from Tim Ream about 25 yards from goal.

Zardes unleashed an effort that took a wicked deflection off Ecuador defender Robert Arboleda and looped over ‘keeper Alexander Domínguez. The goal was the seventh of Zardes’ international career and first since scoring the game-winner in a 2-1 victory against Ecuador in the Copa America Centernario quarterfinals on June 16, 2016 in Seattle.

Controlling much of the first half possession, the USA came close to scoring in the 25th minute. Receiving a ball in the penalty area, Christian Pulisic laid off a pass for Paul Arriola on the left, but the winger’s first-time effort was turned away well by Ecuador ‘keeper Alexander Domínguez.

The USA looked to have gone ahead five minutes later when Weston McKennie made a line-breaking pass for Jordan Morris on the right. He centered for Zardes, who touched the ball into the path off Arriola to finish from close range, but linesman Philippe Briere ruled that Morris was just offside on the original pass.

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In a match where USA goalkeeper Sean Johnson was left with little to do – Ecuador was limited by the U.S. defense to a single shot on goal – the MNT continued to control the flow of play in the second half, connecting well on passes, but coming up short with the final product. Defensively, Weston McKennie and Aaron Long combined well to thwart a dangerous counter attack from Renato Ibarra in the 52nd minute to help keep the team’s third-straight clean sheet.

The MNT continues its march towards the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup against another South American foe, taking on Chile on Tuesday, March 26 at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston.

Kickoff is set for 7:55 p.m. ET with ESPN2, UniMas and UDN covering the action.

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