United States’ Olympic hopes still alive with 2-0 win over Canada

AP
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The United States can still qualify for the 2016 Olympics thanks to a massive 2-0 win over Canada tonight.

With the win, the U.S. U23’s have moved on to a two-game playoff against Colombia, with the winner earning a spot at the Olympic Games. That playoff will be held in March in Rio de Janeiro, the host city for the 2016 Olympics.

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The United States had the better of play throughout the first half, outshooting Canada 14-2 and completing 198 passes to Canada’s 82.

However, just three of those 14 shots found the target as the U.S. was unable to find a goal. Despite not being able to score, the U.S. headed into the second half with a clear advantage as Canada was sent to ten men just before the break.

Giuliano Franco received two yellow cards late in the half, forcing Canada to play a man down for 45 minutes. If you look at the two tackles below, Franco was lucky not to get a straight red card on his first challenge, as he caught Marc Pelosi with a late, high boot.

The U.S. continued to control the play, but it took until the 69th minute to find a breakthrough when former Liverpool youth product and current San Jose Earthquakes midfielder Marc Pelosi finally put the United States ahead. A corner kick popped out to Pelosi at the top of the box, who took one touch and fired a shot into the back of the net.

In the 84th minute, the U.S. sealed the match with a penalty kick from Jerome Kiesewetter. The German-born winger drew the foul and buried the penalty into the top corner for his fourth goal in qualifying, tied for the most in the tournament. Kiesewetter has been brilliant for the U.S. over the past few matches, and could have earned himself a look for a first-team call-up.