Ricardo Pepi scored seconds after coming into the sport because the United States beat El Salvador 1-0 at Orlando’s Exploria Stadium on Monday evening to win Group D and clinch its spot within the CONCACAF Nations League finals in June.
The hosts by no means discovered an opener in a scoreless first half regardless of making use of loads of stress, and had a pair of harm scares with each goalkeeper Matt Turner and midfielder Yunus Musah requiring consideration from the crew’s medical workers.
Giovanni Reyna, making his second begin for the U.S. after a World Cup by which he discovered minutes laborious to return by, hit the submit as play resumed after the break and veteran Tim Ream had a close-range volley blocked away seconds later.
Pepi got here on for Daryl Dike on the hour mark and made an immediate affect, latching onto a Weston McKennie by ball, holding off his defender and chipping El Salvador keeper Mario Gonzalez to present the U.S. some respiratory room in a sport by which it had dominated however failed to attain.
Fellow substitute Taylor Sales space picked out Pepi on the left aspect of the world within the 79th minute for an opportunity to double the lead, however the FC Groningen striker did not get sufficient bend on his shot and the ball sailed simply large of Gonzalez’s far submit.
The defending champions be a part of Mexico, which gained Group A on Sunday with a 2-2 draw towards Jamaica, within the four-team Nations League finals from June 15 to 18 at Allegiant Stadium, the house of the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders. The final two spots might be selected Tuesday when CNL group-stage play concludes.