US shuts out Trinidad and Tobago in 1st leg of Copa America qualifier
AUSTIN, Texas – Ricardo Pepi, Antonee Robinson and Gio Reyna scored late goals in 7 minutes, 23 seconds to lead the United States over Trinidad and Tobago 3-0 on Thursday night in the opener of the two-legged, one-period series. . berth in next year’s Copa America.
Pepi stepped in in the 66th minute and put the United States ahead in the 82nd with an angled shot from Robinson’s pass.
Robinson doubled the lead in the 86th with a long-range shot to the left that deflected past Alvin Jones and goalkeeper Denzil Smith, while Reyna added her third goal in two games in the 89th after a quick touch from Folarin Balogun.
The second leg of the CONCACAF Nations League quarterfinal series is Monday night in Trinidad, where the Americans were denied a berth in the 2018 World Cup with a 2-1 loss in October 2017.
The United States had the advantage after Noah Powder, a 25-year-old Trinidadian midfielder from Edison, New Jersey, was sent off in the 38th minute. Powder was shown his second yellow card for swinging a leg and tripping Weston McKennie from behind.
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But with the 11th-ranked Americans missing Christian Pulisic, Tim Weah and Tyler Adams due to injuries, they struggled against No. 99 Trinidad despite 75% possession in the first half. The Americans outshot the Soca Warriors 7-0 at the half but did not put any shots on target.
Jamaican referee Oshan Nation initially awarded a penalty in the 60th minute when defender Daniel Phillips slipped from behind on McKennie in the penalty area, but the call was overturned after a video review by Canadian Drew Fisher.
The second game will be at Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain, 34 years and one day after Paul Caligiuri’s goal at that stadium gave the United States a 1-0 victory over the Soca Warriors and the Americans in 40 years. . About 20 miles south in Couva, Trinidad beat the US in 2017 and ended the Americans’ World Cup streak at seven.
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