(Reuters) – The United States defeated Guyana 4-0 on Tuesday in St. Paul, Minnesota to get their Gold Cup title defense off to a winning start.
The United States opened the scoring in the 28th minute when Weston McKennie delivered a pass to a cutting Paul Arriola, who fired it into the back of the net to the delight of a supportive crowd at Allianz Field.
Tyler Boyd scored in the 51st minute when he took a long pass from Michael Bradley and rifled it into the goal despite appearing to be offside.
The tournament does not use VAR so the play was not reviewed.
Boyd’s strike was the 1,000th goal in the history of the U.S. Men’s National Team, who played their first match in August 1916.
Gyasi Zardes pushed the lead to 3-0 when a deflected shot hit him in the face hard and sailed into the goal. The 27-year-old appeared shaken but continued playing.
Boyd struck again from distance in the 81st minute to complete the route.
The victory was the biggest yet for U.S. head coach Gregg Berhalter, who was hired in December to take the helm of the team that is still rebuilding after failing to make last year’s World Cup.
The win was also a much needed confidence boost for the United States after falling 1-0 to Jamaica and 3-0 to Venezuela in their last two outings.
Next up for the United States is a Group D match on Saturday against Trinidad and Tobago in Cleveland.
The match will be the first meeting of the teams since Trinidad and Tobago defeated the United States in October 2017 to put a shocking end to the team’s bid to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.
In other Group D action, Guyana on Saturday will face Panama, who defeated Trinidad and Tobago 2-0 earlier in the day.
The United States are looking for their seventh Gold Cup title while Guyana are looking for their first at the competition, which is held every two years and crowns the continental champion of North America, Central America and the Caribbean.
Reporting by Rory Carroll, editing by Sudipto Ganguly