After a slow start, the U.S. MNT overran Jamaica 5-0 Sunday afternoon in Panama City behind a pair of goals and an assist from Ayo Akinola.
The Americans were dominant from the start but inefficiency in front of goal by the Yanks combined with Jamaica’s keeper Tajay Griffiths playing his captain’s role to the hilt in the junior Reggae Boyz net kept the game goalless throughout the first half.
John Hackworth’s U.S. side was in complete control with Akinola always looking the most likely to finally break the deadlock. Finally on one of 10 U.S. corner kicks-Jamaica had just one on the day- DC United midfielder Chris Durkin rose highest to power his header past Griffiths.
Hackworth removed an ineffective Atlanta United FC starlet Andrew Carleton in favor of Timothy Weah and with minutes the PSG product had extended the U.S. lead.
Akinola made it happen in the 77th minute when he shook free from his marker and slid a perfect pass across the Jamaica goalmouth for Weah to tap home.
U.S. captain Josh Sargent made it 3-0 10 minutes later before Akinola’s brace put a capper on a fine first outing by the Americans.
Up next the Yanks will face a tougher test versus archrival Mexico on Wednesday, April 26 at 6:30 p.m. ET. El Tri overwhelmed El Salvador 6-0 in their first Group C match. The game can be seen live on UDN and CONCACAF YouTube.
The Americans close out group play April 29, 2017, against El Salvador at 11:30 AM ET with Mexico going up against Jamaica.
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 5 5
JAM 0 0 0
USA – Chris Durkin (George Acosta) 53rd minute
USA – Timothy Weah (Ayo Akinola) 77
USA – Josh Sargent (Jaylin Lindsey) 87
USA – Ayo Akinola (Josh Sargent) 88
USA – Ayo Akinola 90+2
USA: 1-Justin Garces; 2-Jaylin Lindsey, 3-Chris Gloster, 4-James Sands, 5-A.J. Vasquez; 6-Chris Durkin, 8-Blaine Ferri (18-Indiana Vassilev, 88), 10-George Acosta (14-Chris Goslin, 76); 7-Ayo Akinola, 9-Josh Sargent (Capt.), 11-Andrew Carleton (19-Timothy Weah, 65)
Subs not used: 12-C.J. Dos Santos, 13-Akil Watts, 15-Zyen Jones, 16-Taylor Booth, 17-Bryan Reynolds, 20-Adrian Villegas
Head coach: John Hackworth
JAM: 13-Tajay Griffiths (Capt.); 3-Damani Osei, 5-Jamoi Topey (2-Kendall Edwards, 63), 6-Akeem Mullings (15-Richard Thompson, 61), 12-Kimani Gibbons, 20-Shane Ricketts; 4-Jeremy Verley, 8-Coby Atkinson, 11-Jermaine Lyons; 7-Kaheem Parris, 9-Raewin Senior (18-Ricardo McIntosh, 46)
Subs not used: 1-Daniel Russell, 10-Renato Campbell, 14-Nicque Daley, 16-Blake White, 17-Caseeam Priestly, 19-Calwayne Allen
Head coach: Andrew Edwards
Stats Summary: USA / JAM
Shots: 22 / 7
Shots on Goal: 10 / 4
Saves: 4 / 5
Corner Kicks: 10 / 1
Fouls: 6 / 11
Offside: 3 / 2
USA – A.J. Vasquez (caution) 45+2nd minute
JAM – Kimani Gibbons (caution) 83