The United States showed their ruthlessness as they bagged all of their goals in the first half to come away with a comfortable win over Ghana at GEODIS Park in Nashville on Tuesday.
U.S. head coach Gregg Berhalter decided to shake things up formation-wise as he utilized a 4-2-3-1. Miles Robinson and Kristoffer Lund were given starts in the backline. Johnny Cardoso and Yunus Musah were put in defensive midfield roles while the foursome of Tim Weah, Gio Reyna, Christian Pulisic, and Folarin Balogun led the attack.
Reyna would get things going for the Americans when he opened the scoring after 10 minutes. Sergino Dest led an attack down the right side as he dribbled the ball ahead and passed to Balogun out wide. The Monaco striker sent a cross to the center that was blocked by a Ghanaian defender, but Reyna was on the spot to collect the loose ball and blast it into the back of the net.
The hosts would get a chance to double their lead about 10 minutes later when the referee pointed to the spot for a penalty. Weah was tripped up in the 18-yard box, leaving the captain, Pulisic, to step up and convert the spot-kick straight down the middle of the goal.
The U.S. has often been left exposed by stronger opposition when they play a high-pressing style. However, it worked to perfection in the 22nd minute when they forced Ghana to turn over the ball as Weah pounced and passed it on to Balogun. The No. 20 spun on his marker before firing a left-footed strike into the upper corner of the goal.
The goal glut continued as Reyna bagged his second on the night in the 39th minute. The referee awarded the U.S. an indirect free-kick in the area after a Ghanaian defender had obstructed the ball while on the ground. With the Borussia Dortmund midfielder, Balogun, and Pulisic around the ball, it was anyone’s guess who would take a crack at goal from that range. After two quick touches, Reyna would be the man to put the ball on target as it took a deflection of an opposition player before going into the goal.
The damage was already done in the first half as the U.S. was able to keep the clean sheet. A far more improved outing compared to the weekend game against Germany.
Another international is in the bag. The U.S. will be in action again next month when they face Trinidad and Tobago in the quarterfinals of the Concacaf Nations League.