Balogun strike helps USA win Nations League title

Folarin Balogun # 20 des États-Unis a marqué son premier but pour l'équipe lors de la victoire 2-0 de la finale de la Ligue des Nations de la CONCACAF contre <a class="lien " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Canada;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Canada</a> Sunday (Louis Grasse)” src=”–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTYzOQ–/ com/d7159dd5b94228d1af0b008c8947fd20″ data-src=”–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTYzOQ–/https://media.zenf /d7159dd5b94228d1af0b008c8947fd20″/></div>
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USA’s Folarin Balogun #20 scored his first goal for the team in the 2-0 CONCACAF Nations League Final win over Canada on Sunday (Louis Grasse)

Folarin Balogun scored his first goal for the United States as they lifted the CONCACAF Nations League with a 2-0 victory over Canada at the Allegiant Stadium on Sunday.

Arsenal striker Balogun, making just his second appearance since switching allegiance to the England national team, scored the second goal for the United after Chris Richards headed them off at the 12th minute.

The United States have won both Nations League tournaments held in the CONCACAF region and will now seek a regional double in the Gold Cup later this month.

Both goals were created by midfielder Gio Reyna, a player who became embroiled in the off-field sagas surrounding head coach Gregg Berhalter, who was reappointed on Friday.

Reyna’s perfectly floating corner was headed firmly by Richards, who came to the back post with little attention from the Canadian defence.

The Borussia Dortmund midfielder then netted Balogun’s first goal for his new side, coming out of midfield before slipping the ball through the defense and into the forward’s path who confidently headed home .

It was a natural striker’s finish, Balogun taking the ball in his stride and breaking through from an angle for the first time.

Balogun spent last season on loan from Arsenal to French Ligue 1 club Reims where he scored 21 goals and although his club’s future remains uncertain, he looks set to be an integral part of the USA squad in approaching the 2026 World Cup which they will co-host with Canada and Mexico.

The New York-born striker, who moved to England aged two, was part of the England Under-21 squad before moving to the United States in May.

He made his debut in the 3-0 semi-final win over Mexico and in Sunday’s final he struck up a solid deal with wingers Tim Weah and Christian Pulisic in what now appears to be a line-up. very promising American attack.

“I’m just delighted that we were able to win tonight,” Balogun said.

“It’s going to take time to build relationships with my team-mates. I’m just glad that (the goal) helped us win this game. I’ve only been here a short time, but I feel like I’m doing part of something big and it’s a great feeling,” he added.

Despite their midfield weakened by the absence of first picks Tyler Adams and Weston McKennie, the Americans dominated for long stretches.

Reyna had to leave at the break with an ankle injury and USA seemed less fluid without him, but they showed great spirit to neutralize Canada.

“We got the result tonight and again we put in a great performance. We fought, we fought,” captain Pulisic said.

“It’s another step in the right direction. It’s just going to be about those knockout games at those big tournaments – Copa America, World Cup – when times get tough we have to step up, score the goals when it matters and keep them out of our focus. We did a good job tonight,” he said.

The United States, led by interim coach BJ Callaghan before Berhalter returned to the team, gave few chances to a Canadian team that remains trophyless in 23 years.

The best chance for John Herdman’s side came to Cyle Larin in the 67th minute, but after his drive was stalled he put his second attempt high over the bar.

Alphonso Davies, the Bayern Munich winger who is so often the dangerous man for Canada, remained silent for much of the game as the United States doubled their mark on him.

Davies’ chances only came in the closing stages when desperate blocks from the Americans kept him out.

Mexico took third place in the tournament after beating Panama 1-0 thanks to a fourth-minute goal from Jesus Gallardo.


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