The USA's Jerome Kiesewetter (left) and Jordan Morris (right) celebrate after the latter scored against Canada in a 2015 CONCACAF Men's Olympic Qualifying Championship match on October 1, 2015, in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo: Mexsport)
KANSAS CITY, Kansas – Jordan Morris scored two goals and the United States earned a 3-1 win over Canada in the 2015 CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship opener for each on Thursday at Sporting Park.
The victory placed the Americans atop the Group A table, giving them a two-point lead over Cuba and Panama, which tied 1-1 earlier in the evening.
In their last meeting in the same competition more than three years ago, the Canadians posted a 2-0 victory in Nashville, Tennessee. There would be no shutout on this occasion as the U.S. found the back of the net before a minute had passed.
The prominent Jerome Kiesewetter raced down the right wing after receiving a neat pass from Matt Polster and sent a cross into the six-yard box. Canada goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau mistimed his punch and missed the ball, allowing the quick-reacting Morris to head into an open net.
Kiesewetter nearly doubled the advantage in the 20th minute, but shot agonizingly wide of the far post after doing well to free himself for a good look at the net from the right side of the box.
The VfB Stuttgart forward continued to operate forcefully against the left side of the Canadian defense in the second half and only a fine save Crepeau in the 64th minute prevented him from getting on the scoresheet.
Nine minutes later, Crepeau couldn’t do anything about Morris’ second goal. Wil Trapp intercepted a pass at midfield and weighted a sublime ball over the top for the powerful forward, who outmuscled defender Luca Gasparotto before rolling a shot under the charging Crepeau from 14-yards out.
Canada climbed back into the match in the 81st minute through Michael Petrasso. The Queens Park Rangers product back headed Christopher Mannella’s left-sided corner kick past surprised U.S. goalkeeper Zack Steffen.
Luis Gil restored the two-goal lead in the second minute of stoppage time, converting a penalty kick after Kiesewetter was taken down in the box by Jeremy Gagnon-Lapare.
The U.S. will look to make it two wins in a row on Saturday against Cuba, while Canada meets Panama. Both games will be played at Sporting Park.