In the dire moments of the third place CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying match between the United States and Canada, Earthquakes midfielder’s Marc Pelosi, Fatai Alashe and the rest of the U.S. U23’s were looking for the break through.
With the game scoreless in the 69th minute, the United States needed a win to keep their road to the 2016 Olympic games in Rio intact.
Off of an in-swinging corner kick on the far side of the pitch, the ball got nodded down to the left foot of Pelosi outside of the box. Positioned as a left back for the red, white and blue, Pelosi, pressured by an oncoming defender, touched the ball onto his right foot and unleashed a shot towards goal.
The ball bypassed a crowd of blue and white shirts as well as the yellow shirt of the Canadian goalkeeper to give Pelosi and the U23’s a much-needed 1-0 advantage.
“It’s just a really good feeling,” Pelosi said of the result against Canada. “I couldn’t be happier that we bounced back after Honduras and played our game and got the result we needed.”
After posting an undefeated 3-0-0 record in the group stages of Olympic Qualifying, the U23’s were upset by Honduras in a testy semifinal match Saturday at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Pelosi, unavailable for selection in their match against Honduras, aimed to make an imprint on his country’s road to Rio against their neighbors from up north.
It’s safe to say he succeeded.
“I had a similar chance not long before where I chopped it on my left and it got blocked,” Pelosi explained. “But this time I brought it down and struck it early and hard and it flew in.”
The U23’s will now play Colombia twice in March of 2016 in hopes of earning a spot at the Olympic Games in Rio.