US Under-17s come from behind to beat Canada 3-2 in Concacaf Ch'ship opener

The US Under-17 national team came back from a 2-0 halftime deficit to defeat their Canadian counterparts 3-2 in the opening match for both nations in Group F of the 2019 Concacaf Under-17 Championship in Bradenton, Florida. 

Four nations will qualify from the tournament to the FIFA Under-17 World Cup to be played in Brazil later this year. The top three teams from the group will advance to the knockout stage Round of 16. The other two Group F teams, Guatemala and Barbados, opened group play with a 1-1.

Canada got goals in quick succession from Montreal's Jérémie Omeonga Nkoy and a beautiful curler from Jacen Russell-Rowe midway through the first half to take a two-goal lead into the break.

But the USA stormed back in the second half, led by a goal from Sporting Kansas City rising star Gianluca Busio, who got the Americans on the board. Defender Axel Alejandre pounced on a rebound in the box to equalize 2-2 and NYCFC academy product Giovanni Reyna netted the winner on a free kick to complete the turnaround.

Despite dominating the second half, the USA nearly allowed a late equalizer after Canada struck the crossbar in stoppage time through Toronto FC forward Jayden Nelson.

The USA and Canada are back in action in Group F on Saturday, May 4 against Barbados and Guatemala, respectively.

Goals:

  • CAN - 21' - Jérémie Omeonga Nkoy
  • CAN - 22' - Jacen Russell-Rowe
  • USA - 49' - Gianluca Busio
  • USA - 63' - Axel Alejandre
  • USA - 69' - Giovani Reyna

Lineups

USA: Damian Las (Chicago Fire) -- Joe Scally (NYCFC), Axel Alejandre, Kobe Hernandez-Foster (LA Galaxy), Adam Armour -- Daniel Leyva (Seattle Sounders), Giovanni Reyna, Bryang Kayo (D.C. United) -- Gianluca Busio (Sporting KC), Ricardo Pepi (FC Dallas), Griffin Yow (D.C. United)

Substitutes:

  • 64' Jack de Vries (Philadelphia Union) for Griffin Yow
  • 73' Gilbert Fuentes (San Jose Earthquakes) for Giovanni Reyna
  • 92' Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez (Seattle Sounders) for Ricardo Pepi

CANADA: Marc Kouadio -- David Amla (Montreal Impact), Nathan Demian (Vancouver Whitecaps), Gianfranco Facchineri (Vancouver Whitecaps), Deylen Vellios (Vancouver Whitecaps) -- Jérémie Omeonga Nkoy (Montreal Impact), Julian Altobelli (Toronto FC), Damiano Pecile (Vancouver Whitecaps), Tomas Giraldo (Montreal Impact), Matt Catavolo (Montreal Impact) -- Jacen Russell-Rowe (Toronto FC)

Substitutes:

  • 27' Rohan Goulbourne (Toronto FC) for David Amla
  • 65' Jamie Dunning for Julian Altobelli
  • 71' Jayden Nelson (Toronto FC) for Jacen Russell-Rowe
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