Dike’s double leads USMNT to six-goal romp over Martinique

Dike’s double leads USMNT to six-goal romp over Martinique

Martinique figured to have trouble dealing with the U.S. men’s national team attack when the teams lined up at Children’s Mercy Park on Thursday night, but Daryl Dike set the tone for a night that wound up being even more high-scoring than expected.

Dike made a statement with a pair of goals, and came within a scoring decision of a hat-trick, to help propel the USMNT to a 6-1 victory over Martinique on Thursday night.

Gregg Berhalter made seven changes to the squad that squeezed out a lackluster 1-0 win against Haiti in the USMNT’s Gold Cup opener, and two of the changes combined for the opener 14 minutes in. Matthew Hoppe’s excellent cross found Dike in the penalty area, and the Orlando City striker headed it home.

Just seven minutes later, it was Dike involved once again, as a Gianluca Busio shot rattled off the crossbar, and the forward followed up with a header toward goal. A Martinique defender attempted to clear Dike’s header, but wound up putting it into his own net on a play that was initially ruled an own-goal, then changed to a Dike goal, but ultimately changed back to an own-goal

Leading 2-0 at halftime, the Americans came out firing in the second half, with Miles Robinson heading home an Eryk Williamson cross in the 50th minute to make it 3-0.

Dike did find a second goal in the 59th minute on a beautiful sequence that saw him work a give-and-go with Cristian Roldan before dribbling through the Martinique defense, overpowering the underdogs before finishing his chance to make the score 4-0.

Martinique pulled a goal back in the 64th minute on an Emmanuel Riviere penalty kick after Kellyn Acosta was whistled for a foul in the penalty area on Kevin Fortune.

That goal would come back to haunt the Americans, who responded through a Gyasi Zardes finish just six minutes later, and just two minutes after entering as a replacement for Dike.

The Americans tacked on a sixth goal in the 90th minute when Nicholas Gioacchini finished off a Busio pass in a connection of players with Kansas City ties to make the score 6-1.

That is how the final score wound up, and the Martinique penalty kick cost the Americans a chance to catch Group B leader Canada on goal difference, meaning the USMNT must defeat Canada in Sunday’s group finale in order to finish in first place in the group. Canada posted its second consecutive 4-1 victory earlier on Thursday, defeating Haiti handily to maintain its hold on first place in Group B.

The USMNT takes on Canada at Children’s Mercy Park on Sunday in a match that has sold out.