US powers past Martinique

The United States lamented its finishing in its win against Haiti. The Stars and Stripes more than made up for it in an impressive 6-1 win over Martinique in Group B.

Daryl Dike sparked the U.S.’s brilliance, scoring two goals in his first start in the 2021 Gold Cup. Gregg Berhalter’s team was assertive from kickoff, dominating possession with 65 percent of the ball and 12 shots on goal. 

Dike got the Yanks on the scoresheet early on as he got on the end of a dipping Matthew Hoppe cross in the 14th minute. Hoppe helped create the second goal as well, when he persisted after a scramble for a rebound in the box. He then crossed with a nifty backheel to Gianluca Busio, who dinged the crossbar with an attempt. Dike then tried to head it in but tangled slightly with Martinique defender Samuel Camille as the ball ended up in the net. Though the 24th minute goal was credited as an own-goal to Camille, it was the U.S.’s aggressiveness that made it happen.

From there, the U.S. followed Dike’s lead, adding three more goals as a collective. With a quick turn to send in an accurate cross, Eryk Williamson served up a beauty of an assist to Miles Robinson, who finished well on a header.

Almost as if to show his versatility in scoring ability, Dike then added another goal in the second half, rampaging into the box on his own in the 59th minute, leaving Martinique defenders in his wake while he tucked in a delicate chip over goalkeeper Gilles Meslien.

Martinique won’t be happy with the final result, but there were a few positive moments from the team.  Johnny Marajo forced Matt Turner into a diving save in the 54th minute. Then Martinique got a goal 10 minutes later from the penalty spot via Emmanuel Riviere, after Kellyn Acosta fouled Kévin Fortuné in the box.

Still, the U.S. got back into its goal scoring groove not long after. Cristian Roldan found Gyasi Zardes on the run and set up the forward with a well-worked goal, with the Crew star sending in a solid shot that hit the inside of the side netting on the far side in the 70th minute.

After coming close on a number of occasions, Nicholas Gioacchini scored the final goal of the game in the 90th minute, finishing an excellent pass from Busio.

Despite the gaudy goal total, the U.S. still fell a goal short of Canada, who still leads Group B on goal difference. This should set up a tantalizing final clash between the two squads, while Haiti and Martinique will look to end the tournament on a positive.