The USA (pictured) celebrates after Marc Pelosi scored against Canada in the CONCACAF Men's Olympic Championship's match for third place on October 13, 2015, in Sandy, Utah. (Photo: Mexsport)
SANDY, Utah – Marc Pelosi broke a scoreless deadlock in the second half and the United States went on to earn a 2-0 win over 10-man Canada in the match for third place at the 2015 CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship on Tuesday.
Jerome Kiesewetter converted a penalty kick for insurance at Rio Tinto Stadium as American hopes for a place in next year’s Olympic Games were kept alive. The U.S. will face Colombia in a playoff for a spot in Rio de Janeiro.
Canada has not qualified for the Olympics since 1984 and its bid to do so again was made more difficult by Giuliano Frano’s 45th minute ejection for a second caution.
The U.S. took the lead in the 69th minute thanks to a well-positioned Pelosi. Anthony Jackson-Hamels’ attempted clearance of an American corner kick fell to the San Jose Earthquakes midfielder, who took a touch before firing a right-footed effort from 19-yards out. In a last-ditch struggle to make a block, defender Jeremy Gagnon-Lapare got a piece of the ball, but couldn’t prevent it from crossing the line.
With seven minutes left in normal time, Kiesewetter converted his own penalty after being taken down by goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau for his fourth goal of the tournament, putting him atop the scoring chart with Honduras’ Alberth Elis.
It was one of Crepeau’s few missteps on the night. He was outstanding, denying the Americans on numerous occasions, especially following the break, when they came out on the front foot.
The FC Montreal custodian made a series of spectacular saves, including those on Jordan Morris in the 52nd minute and Kiesewetter 14 minutes later.
Canada’s best opportunity of the match came in the 29th minute, but U.S. goalkeeper Ethan Horvath gathered in a Skylar Thomas header.