The United States under-20 men’s national team defeated Haiti, 4-1, in the second group stage match of the 2017 U-20 CONCACAF Championship. A hat trick from Brooks Lennon and a tally from Luca de la Torre was more than enough to overcome an early deficit and get the team’s tournament back on track.
The USA enjoyed a slightly better start than they did against Panama, keeping a small advantage in possession. But it didn’t matter as Haiti found the match’s opening goal in the 15th minute from a very weak cross into the box that couldn’t be dealt with by the American backline. The ball sneaked it’s way to Keenly Dede who mishit his finish in the perfect spot to beat Jonathan Klinsmann.
After the goal, the U.S. continued to keep possession but lacked any urgency. Finally they got a break as they were awarded a penalty in the 26th minute when left winger Jonathan Lewis was brought down in the box. Brooks Lennon converted confidently to level the score at one through half of an hour.
Sloppiness and poor play on both sides reigned supreme to close out the half as neither created much of anything else aside from a half chance for Jeremy Ebobisse, but his toe poke rolled wide to end the first half.
The U.S. came out of the break on the front foot and took little time gaining a two-goal lead. Off a corner kick, the Haiti goalkeeper attempted a punch clearance that found its way to Luca de la Torre who just slotted into the empty net to give the Americans the lead.
Just a minute later, Lennon found his way through the shell-shocked Haiti backline with ease after a pass from Ebobisse and finished past the distraught goalkeeper to make it 3-1. In eight minutes of second half play, the USA turned a 1-1 match into a two-goal advantage without really playing very well.
Before the hour mark, Lennon had notched his hat trick after following up on a De la Torre shot that was parried right into his path to extend the lead yet again. Probably the easiest three-goal performance he’s had in his young career.
The rest of the match consisted of the U.S. dominating play to run out the clock. A good win, albeit not a great performance by any means, but it’s job done.
- Good performance? Not all. Good result? Absolutely. That’s what this team needed. Hopefully it builds their confidence going forward.
- Qualification to the Classification Round should be all but certain as they play St. Kitts and Nevis in the final match. A team who lost 5-1 to this poor Haiti team and 4-0 to Panama.
- Despite scoring 4 goals, the U.S. U-20’s didn’t look particular good in the attack at any point in the match.
The U.S. finish out group play against St. Kitts and Nevis who have lost their opening two matches by a combined 9-1 scoreline. That match will be on Friday at 5:30 p.m. ET and will be televised on Univision Deportes and streamed on CONCACAF’s Facebook page.