CLEVELAND — Gyasi Zardes scored two goals in a three-minute span in the second half and the U.S. men’s soccer team earned a small sample of revenge Saturday night with a 6-0 blowout in the CONCACAF Gold Cup against Trinidad and Tobago, which handed the Americans a nightmarish loss two years ago.

Aaron Long scored his first two international goals, and Christian Pulisic and Paul Arriola had one each during a five-goal barrage in the second half. The U.S. cruised to its second shutout this week and clinched a quarterfinal berth in Philadelphia on June 30.

It was the first matchup between the U.S. and Trinidad and Tobago since Oct. 10, 2017, when the Americans, needing only a tie to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, lost 2-1.

The embarrassing defeat snapped a streak of seven straight World Cup appearances by the Americans and triggered a top-to-bottom overhaul of the men’s program, which has operated in the imposing shadow of the powerful U.S. women, seeking their fourth world title in France.

There would be no repeat performance by this revamped U.S. team. The Americans posted their most lopsided win since beating Honduras 6-0 in a World Cup qualifier on March 24, 2017, when Pulisic also scored and had a pair of assists.

With the U.S. leading 1-0 on Long’s goal in the 41st minute, Zardes scored from right in front shortly after U.S. goalkeeper Zack Steffen made a diving save to stop Trinidad from tying a match the Americans dominated.

Michael Bradley chipped the ball from the left side to a charging Nick Lima, who headed the ball to Zardes in front. The American striker only had to guide it past Trinidad keeper Marvin Phillip in the 65th minute.

Two minutes later, Zardes buried a hard shot from the left side for his 10th international goal and second two-goal game.

Zardes nearly completed a hat trick, but his low shot from up top in the 70th minute hit the left post.

Next up for the Americans is a matchup with Panama on Wednesday in Kansas City, Kansas. Panama improved to 2-0 with a 4-2 win over Guyana, also clinching a quarterfinal berth.

On a picture-perfect night along the shores of Lake Erie, the American team controlled possession and tempo while thoroughly outplaying T&T, which was eliminated.

It was another step forward for the American side, which includes only six players from the roster in Trinidad two years back.

Prior to kickoff, U.S. players insisted they were not motivated by revenge following the devastating 2017 loss. But it remains on the minds of American fans jolted by not seeing their team play in Russia last summer.

“It’s about winning the game, period,” U.S. midfielder Wil Trapp said.

U.S. Coach Gregg Berhalter stuck with the same starting lineup he used in the opener against Guyana but gave the captain’s armband to Steffen for the first time. Bradley captained the Americans in the opening 4-0 win over Guyana.

Long, who plays in MLS for the New York Red Bulls, put the U.S. ahead off a beautiful feed from the left side by Pulisic.

Shortly after the U.S. was awarded a free kick, the Americans kept pressing and maintained possession in Trinidad’s half before Pulisic spotted Long inside the 6-yard box and delivered an arching pass to the forward, who left his feet, connected and drove the ball past a sprawling Phillip.


NORWAY 1, AUSTRALIA 1 (4-1 PKs): Ingrid Engen hit the decisive penalty kick and Norway beat Australia in a shootout in Nice, France, to advance to the quarterfinals.

Australia captain Sam Kerr, who was frustrated by Norway most of the night despite some opportunities, fired her penalty shot wide. Emily Gielnik had her effort saved by Ingrid Hjelmseth as Norway won the shootout 4-1 after the match finished 1-1.

Norway will face the winner of Sunday’s game between England and Cameroon.

Australia played the final 16 minutes of extra time at a numerical disadvantage after defender Alanna Kennedy was sent off on a red card for hauling down Norway forward Lisa-Marie Utland.

Australia’s Elise Kellond-Knight scored from a corner kick to make it a 1-1 game in the 83rd minute.

Isabell Herlovsen put Norway up 1-0 with a goal in the 31st minute.

Australia had two penalties denied on video review and Kerr had a goal overturned for offside in the second half.

GERMANY 3, NIGERIA 0: Germany advanced to the quarterfinals for the eighth straight time, beating African champion Nigeria in Grenoble, France.

Germany captain Alexandra Popp, playing in her 100th international match, scored in the 20th minute. Sara Dabritz made it 2-0 in the 27th with a penalty kick, and Lea Schuller got the final goal in the 82nd minute.

Second-ranked Germany, which has outscored opponents 9-0, plays the winner of Monday’s match between Sweden and Canada on June 29.


VENEZUELA 3, BOLIVIA 1: Two goals by Darwin Machis and one by Josef Martinez helped Venezuela win in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, and advance to the quarterfinals.

Venezuela, which has never won the Copa America or qualified for a World Cup, finished Group A in second place to Brazil.

BRAZIL 5, PERU 0: Casemiro, Roberto Firmino and Everton scored in the first half, and Dani Alves and Willian scored in the second half in Sao Paulo to keep the hosts on track for their first Copa title since 2007.

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