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#2330: Wynalda, Jones pace 3-0 Gold Cup victory (fwd)
Published Sunday, February 13, 2000, in the Miami Herald
U.S. blanks Haiti
Wynalda, Jones pace 3-0 Gold Cup victory______ BY PEDRO F. FONTEBOA
Veterans Eric Wynalda and Cobi Jones put their best foot forward,
scoring one goal each Saturday night as the United States defeated
Haiti, 3-0, in the opening match of Gold Cup 2000 in front of 49,591
singing, dancing and flag-waving soccer fans in the Orange Bowl.
In the nightcap, Colombia beat the famous ``Reggae Boyz'' of Jamaica,
1-0. For the Americans, it was their first triumph in an international
match in South Florida in 16 years. They had gone 0-9-5 in their
previous 14 matches at the Orange Bowl and Pro Player Stadium.
The underdog Haitians fought valiantly, spurred on by a loud following
of nearly 25,000. But the Americans closed it out with Wynalda's
penalty-kick goal in the 55th minute that made it 2-0 and Jones'
clincher in the 89th minute. ``It is a good victory for us,'' said
Wynalda, a member of the Miami Fusion. ``We got the early goal [by Jovan
Kirovski in the 18th minute], and we were able to play possession and
control much of the game.'' Only two U.S. players on the roster for Gold
Cup 2000 have more than 100 appearances in international matches --
Jones (121) and Wynalda (104). Wynalda's goal was his 34th -- extending
his team record -- and his ninth in the Gold Cup, also a U.S. high.
Typically, U.S. coach Bruce Arena did not display much emotion
afterward. ``We look to play well in each match, and if we do, we will
advance in the Gold Cup,'' said Arena, whose squad is unbeaten (2-0-1)
in international matches this year. ``We had some good efforts by
certain individuals.'' The Americans' first goal came from the fancy
passing of midfielder Claudio Reyna and Wynalda, and the heads-up play
of midfielder Kirovski. Reyna, dribbling down the right side, fired a
line drive across the field to Wynalda, who was to the left of the net.
Wynalda controlled the ball with his left foot and quickly snapped a
pass to Kirovski, who had made his way into the Haitian goalie
box. Kirovski jumped to meet Wynalda's pass and headed the ball down to
the ground, bouncing it once and past charging Haitian goalkeeper Didier
Menard into the net. The Haitians came close to scoring the equalizer in
the 40th minute on an indirect kick after a foul on defender Eddie
Lewis. Haitian midfielder Michel Gabriel drilled a shot at the American
box that forward Wilson Chevalier headed just over the goal and
outstretched goalkeeper Brad Friedel. The Americans added an insurance
goal to make it 2-0 in the second half when Wynalda converted a penalty
kick, which was set up when defender Jean Roland Dartiguenave illegally
tackled Reyna from behind in the penalty box while Reyna was in
possession of the ball. The third goal came late -- with less than two
minutes remaining -- when Jones chased down a lead pass from Reyna,
dribbled past the charging Menard, and with his right foot, hooked it
into the open net. American goalkeeper Friedel had three saves on nine
shots by the Haitians. Haiti holds a 6-5-3 advantage in the head-to-head
series, but has not beaten the United States since a 1-0 victory in 1973
at Port-au-Prince. The United States recorded its fifth consecutive
shutout of Haiti and has not allowed a goal since that loss 27 years
ago. ``We disappointed our people tonight. We got zero goals and we
didn't move the ball forward as I had hoped we could,'' Haitian coach
and Miami resident Emmanuel Sanon said. ``It was a good lesson for us,
and we must use it to prepare for our next match [Monday against Peru].
American forward Brian McBride was scheduled to start Saturday but was
pulled at the last minute from the lineup by Arena for medical reasons.
McBride was treated for a racing heart by a team doctor.
Arena said McBride will again be examined Monday and ``should be back
in the lineup'' for the second-round game against Peru at the Orange
Bowl. Martinez propels Colombia to win: Forward Gonzalo Martinez scored
in the 15th minute, and Colombia's defenders and goalkeeper Miguel
Calero fought off a late surge by Jamaica in a 1-0 victory late Saturday
in a Gold Cup opening match for both countries. Martinez took a pass
from teammate Andres Mosquera off the end line and sneaked his shot in
with a kick between a defender and Jamaican goalkeeper Aaron Lawrence.