Pelosi, Kiesewetter score as U.S. eliminates Canada from qualifying for Rio

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SANDY, Utah — Marc Pelosi and Jerome Kiesewetter scored as the United States shut out Canada’s under-23 soccer team 2-0 on Tuesday night in a CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament.

The loss eliminates Canada’s chances of qualifying for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. The U.S. will face Colombia in a home-and-away series in March with the winner moving onto Rio.

The U.S. got on the board in the 69th minute after a corner kick went off a pair of players in front of the net before reaching Pelosi just outside the box. His shot was deflected off Canada’s Jeremy Gagnon-Lapare and into the net.

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Kiesewetter gave the U.S. a two-goal lead in the 84th minute when he was awarded a penalty shot after being taken down in the box by Canadian goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau. Kiesewetter made no mistake — putting his shot into the right-hand corner of the net.

The United States pressured the Canadians for the majority of the match, forcing Canada to play some tough defence.

Canada went down a man in the 45th minute when Giuliano Frano received his second yellow card of the game and a subsequent ejection after a challenge on Pelosi.

Crepeau made some big stops in the 61st minute with the Americans pressing, coming out to poke the ball loose from U.S. striker Jordan Morris. Crepeau followed that up in the 81st with another nice save — punching a Pelosi shot over the net.

One of Canada’s better chances in the second half came in the 55th minute when forward Michael Petrasso took on four Americans on the right wing. 

The Canadians reached the third-place game after falling 2-0 to Mexico in the semifinal. The Mexicans and Honduras guaranteed themselves a spot in next summer’s Olympic Games as the tournament’s top two teams. Mexico and Honduras played for gold later on Tuesday.

The Canadian Press

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