USMNT piles it on in second half to blow by Oman

The U.S. men’s national team scored three second-half goals to defeat Oman 4-0 in a friendly in St. Paul, Minn., on Tuesday.

Folarin Balogun made it 1-0 in the 13th minute and Brenden Aaronson doubled the lead in the 60th. In the 79th minute, Ricardo Pepi scored off the bench for the second straight match, and an own goal by Khalid Al-Braiki two minutes later provided the final margin.

The own goal came as a result of a cross from the United States’ Kevin Paredes seconds after he stepped on the field for his U.S. debut.

The U.S. won its second match since Gregg Berhalter was rehired in June after advancing the Americans to the knockout round of the 2022 World Cup. They defeated Uzbekistan 3-0 in St. Louis on Saturday.

As will often be the case in the post-World Cup era, Berhalter fielded a mixture of new and old players for the first-ever matchup against Oman.

At 23 years, 242 days, Tuesday’s starting lineup marked the youngest sent out by Berhalter since the one he deployed in a 1-0 win against El Salvador in World Cup qualifying on Jan. 27, 2022. The starters averaged 22 national team appearances.

Balogun didn’t match Timothy Weah’s fourth-minute goal against Uzbekistan, but the U.S. was still able to grab an early lead and hang on to it.

Weston McKennie started the sequence by creating a turnover and sending the ball across the field to the right post for Weah. Weah hammered a shot from distance and the rebound went to Balogun, who put home the match’s opening goal.

Aaronson finally got the second score on a 25-yard free kick that went through the wall and skipped past goalkeeper Ibrahim Al Mukhaini.

Pepi then scored into the lower left corner of the net off a pass from DeJuan Jones. He scored in stoppage time on Saturday.

Midfielder Benjamin Cremaschi, 18, of Inter Miami made his USMNT debut in the 71st minute.

American goalkeeper Ethan Horvath made one save.