Luis Gil has given the U.S. U-23 men a 1-0 lead over Colombia on a sweltering day at Estadio Metropolitano, where the heat index felt like 102 and kicked off at 4 p.m. local time.
The match is the first leg of the CONCACAF-CONMEBOL playoff for Olympic qualification, with the second leg in the U.S. on Tuesday.
The U.S. expected a quick start from Colombia, and goalkeeper Ethan Horvath had to make a point-blank stop on a borderline onside Harold Preciado.
But it was the Yanks that would strike first, with Gil darting to the center of the box unmarked to push Mario Rodriguez’s cutback home.
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Jordan Morris had a big chance on the left flank, and Bonilla parried a shot to Gil. The midfielder hit his shot wide of the frame.
Colombia then pressed hard and could’ve equalized on several occasions before a scary moment for the U.S., as Horvath headed clear from the edge of the 18 and was clattered into by a charging Andres Renteria.