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Pepi Scores 2 More Goals, Lifts US Over Jamaica in Qualifier | Sports News

By RONALD BLUM, AP Sports activities Author

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Ricardo Pepi and the younger People noticed a purple, white and blue crowd, a scene seldom seen at previous U.S. World Cup qualifiers, then dominated Jamaica behind the brand new 18-year-old sensation and moved into first place.

“We’re simply sitting there and we’re on the practice,” U.S. coach Gregg Berhalter stated Thursday night time after Pepi scored within the forty ninth and 62nd minutes in a 2-0 victory over Jamaica. “It is superb. I imply, an 18-year-old will get a chance and takes benefit of it. What you see, and I believe what I actually like, he has this intuition, and it’s actually laborious to show that that to gamers. And he has an intuition to attain.”

Pepi, an El Paso native who scored his first worldwide objective to interrupt a second-half tie at Honduras in his worldwide debut on Sept. 8, turned the youngest American to attain in consecutive qualifiers.

With household and mates within the stands, he received the primary objective from a flowing motion nearly as good as may be produced by the U.S., which outshot the Reggae Boyz 17-5.

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Goalkeeper Matt Turner rolled the ball to his proper flank, the place Sergiño Dest ran onto it simply outdoors his personal penalty space. In a burst of about 10 seconds, Dest sprinted ahead whereas taking 5 touches and centered the ball to Yunus Musah, who was on the run.

Making his qualifying debut, Musah took 4 touches and dished vast to Dest, who one-timed a cross. Pepi broke away from Damion Lowe and from about 8 yards directed a downward header that went in on a bounce to the fitting of goalkeeper Andre Blake.

“Jamaica was so compact, we wanted to go to the wings,” Pepi stated. “We unlocked them.”

People took benefit of area.

“We simply didn’t fairly get our press proper,” Jamaica defender Adrian Mariappa stated. “At instances simply received a litte bit naive.”

Pepi scored once more when he re-directed a cross from Brenden Aaronson previous Blake with from 6 yards after Antonee Robinson shortly moved up the flank.

“It’s a particular feeling having the ability to simply rating right here in Texas,” Pepi stated.

Pepi made his Main League Soccer debut for Dallas in June 2019 and determined simply earlier than the beginning of qualifying this summer season to play for the U.S. over Mexico. His sudden rise on the worldwide stage has sparked curiosity in European golf equipment curious about a switch.

“I felt prefer it’s coming,” he stated of all the eye. “I don’t know if it’s too quick or if it’s too gradual. I really feel prefer it’s coming and no matter goes to return goes to return and I really feel like I’ve to be prepared for it.”

Enjoying with out injured attackers Christian Pulisic and Gio Reyna, the Thirteenth-ranked improved to eight factors after 4 of 14 matches within the ultimate spherical of the North and Central American and Caribbean area. Mexico dropped to second on objective distinction after being held to a 1-1 draw by visiting Canada, which is third with six.

Honduras and Costa Rica have three factors every after a 0-0 attract San Pedro Sula. No. 59 Jamaica, which has not gone to the World Cup since 1998, has one level after 4 matches. El Salvador was house towards Panama in a late sport.

5 extra People made qualifying debuts, elevating the full to 21 in 4 matches,

“They have been useless within the second half.” Aaronson stated. “We drained them out due to the primary half, then runs in behind.”

Musah like Pepi is eighteen, and Aaronson, Musah and Dest are 20. The vitality confirmed.

Within the very first minute, Aaronson handed to Pepi who gave the ball to Paul Arriola breaking in. Kemar Lawrence pulled him down and was given a yellow card by referee Reon Radix of Grenada.

“It is early within the sport, I do not suppose it needs to be a purple card,” Aaronson stated, “However perhaps it may have.”

Jamaica was lacking West Ham striker Michail Antonio, who determined to not journey, and injured Aston Villa winger Leon Bailey.

“The second half we misplaced our self-discipline and the U.S. crew capitalized on our errors,” Jamaica coach Theodore Whitmore stated,

Turner stretched to make a diving parry of Lowe’s shot headed to the far submit within the forty first minute. That was Jamaica’s solely shot on the right track.

“I don’t even suppose we consider ourselves as younger guys anymore,” Aaronson stated. “We’re put in a state of affairs the place the entire nation is us and we have to carry out, and teverybody’s takes on this problem.”

Subsequent up for the U.S. is a Sunday sport at Panama — on the fourth anniversary of the loss at Trinidad that saved the People from the 2018 World Cup.

“We are able to’t get too carried away,” Berhalter stated. “The lure goes to be us considering, we’re nice and us considering we we’ve certified for the World Cup, and if we try this we’ll get our ass kicked in Panama on Sunday.”

Extra AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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https://www.usnews.com/news/sports activities/articles/2021-10-07/pepi-scores-2-more-goals-lifts-us-over-jamaica-in-qualifier | Pepi Scores 2 Extra Objectives, Lifts US Over Jamaica in Qualifier | Sports activities News

Aila Slisco

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