USA Topples Haiti in Gold Cup Opener at Orange Bowl
MIAMI (Saturday, February 12, 2000) - The U.S. Men's National Team opened the 2000 CONCACAF Gold Cup with a convincing 3-0 victory over Haiti at the Orange Bowl on Saturday night. Forward Eric Wynalda set up the first goal by Jovan Kirovski and scored the second on a penalty kick, and Cobi Jones added a late insurance tally for the United States. For Wynalda, the goal was his U.S. record 34th international strike in 104 career appearances, and his ninth in 19 Gold Cup matches.
With the victory, the U.S. continued its three-game unbeaten run to start the year and improved its record in the opening round of the Gold Cup to 11-0-0 since the bi-annual regional championship began play in 1991.
The U.S. opened the scoring in the 18th minute on Kirovski's seventh international goal. Claudio Reyna, who played a significant role in each of the U.S. goals, found Wynalda on the left flank and lobbed a long pass into the penalty area. Wynalda one-timed the pass back across the box with his left foot to Kirovski, who bounced his header off the crossbar and past the goalkeeper.
After dominating the first half for long periods, the U.S. added a second goal ten minutes into the second half on Wynalda's penalty kick. Reyna earned the spot kick after Haiti's Jean Roland Dartiguenave hauled him down as he attempted to serve a cross in from near the endline. Wynalda calmly centered the ball after goalkeeper Didier Menard dove to his right.
Jones sealed the win with his second goal in two games, calmly eluding the goalkeeper and slotting home an angled shot in the 89th minute after Reyna played a long ball through midfield.
U.S. goalkeeper Brad Friedel earned his 18th shutout for the United States, turning aside three Haiti shots on the night. His biggest test of the evening came on a 60-yard blast off the foot of Wilfred Montilas that dipped on target at the last minute.
"We knew going in we couldn't take Haiti lightly, and I'm glad we were able to finish our chances because their team has improved very much in a short period of time," Wynalda said. Next up for the U.S. is the final match of the Gold Cup opening round, against Peru at the Orange Bowl at 9:00 p.m. (ET) on Wednesday, February 16.
2000 U.S. MEN'S NATIONAL TEAM GAME REPORT
|Participants:||U.S. Men's National Team vs. Haiti National Team|
|Competition:||CONCACAF Gold Cup 2000 - Group B|
|Venue:||The Orange Bowl (Miami, Florida)|
|Date:||February 12, 2000 - kickoff 7:00 p.m. (ET)|
|Weather:||70 degrees - Clear|
USA - Jovan Kirovski, (Eric Wynalda), 18,
USA - Eric Wynalda (Penalty Kick), 55,
USA - Cobi Jones, (Claudio Reyna), 88.
USA - Brad Friedel; Jeff Agoos, Robin Fraser, C.J. Brown; Ben Olsen, Chris Armas, Claudio Reyna (Capt.), Jovan Kirovski, Eddie Lewis; Cobi Jones, Eric Wynalda (Richie Williams +69').
HTI - Didier Menard; Pierre Richard Bruny, Jean Roland Dartiguenave, Roosevelt Desir, Michel Gabriel, Chrismonor Thelusma; Ernst C. Athis, Carlo Marcellin, Wilfrid Montilas, Sebastien Vorbe; Wilson Chevalier (Johnny Descollines +46', Gilbert Jean Baptiste +84').
|Eddie Lewis (caution)||24,|
|Wilfrid Montilas (caution)||43,|