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Christian Pulisic helps US edge Ecuador

Christian Pulisic was in the starting line-up and Matt Miazga was an unused substitute as the United States beat Ecuador 1-0 in Orlando on Thursday to secure their third consecutive win under head coach Gregg Berhalter.

Pulisic, who signed in January and moves from Borussia Dortmund to Chelsea in the summer, was one of three 20-year-olds, along with Schalke midfielder Weston McKEnnie and Leipzig full-back Tyler Adams, who started for the US as the hosts dominated possession against their South American opponents.

Behalter’s side carried much of the attacking threat with Pulisic at the heart of the action, setting up a glorious opportunity for Paul Arriola in the 26th minute which forced a fine save out of Ecuador goalkeeper Alexander Dominguez, before heading an Arriola cross wide 10 minutes later.

Pulisic had another opportunity deflected wide for a corner in the 57th minute before he was replaced five minutes later by Sebastian Lletget as Berhalter made five second-half substitutions.

The Americans finally broke down the well-organised Ecuadorian defence in fortuitous fashion nine minutes from time when Gyasi Zardes’ shot from just outside the box struck defender Robert Arboleda and looped over a back-pedalling Dominguez before dropping just over the goal-line.

The US team are looking to revive the fortunes after failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup and they have now enjoyed three straight victories under Berhalter after friendly wins against Panama and Costa Rica earlier this year.

They will meet Chile in another friendly in Houston next Tuesday as they continue their preparations for the CONCACAF Gold Cup this summer.

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