Christian Pulisic got the United States off on the right foot in Copa America opener

Christian Pulisic #10 of United States
Christian Pulisic #10 of United States and Davinson Sánchez #23 of Colombia challenge for the ball at Commanders Field on June 08, 2024 in Landover, Maryland.

Christian Pulisic scored in the third minute and assisted on Folarin Balogun’s goal in the 44th as the United States cruised past Bolivia, 2-0, in their Copa America opener on Sunday night.

Among six invited guests to South America’s championship, the United States is expected to advance from Group C to the quarterfinals along with Uruguay.

Bolivia lost its 13th straight Copa America match dating to 2015 and has one win in its last 31.

The 11th-ranked United States plays Panama on Thursday at Atlanta and closes the group against Uruguay on July 1 at Kansas City, Mo. No. 84 Bolivia meets Uruguay on Thursday at East Rutherford, N.J., then plays Panama on July 1 at Orlando.

A crowd of 47,873 attended the match under the retractable roof at 80,000-seat AT&T Stadium, which will host a World Cup semifinal in two years. It was 97 degrees Fahrenheit outside (36 Celsius) the home of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys at kickoff but air-conditioned inside.

Former Revolution goalkeeper Matt Turner, playing a day before his 30th birthday, had three saves in his 25th international shutout. The United States improved to 6-0 at AT&T as the Americans opened their fifth Copa America appearance, the first since reaching the semifinals as co-host in 2016.

The United States had 18 touches inside the attacking penalty area in the first half and Bolivia had none.

Pulisic put the United States ahead 2:23 in, the fastest American goal in 34 competitive matches against South American opponents. He played a short corner kick to Tim Weah and ran toward the penalty area. Weah returned the ball to Pulisic, who took a touch and from just inside the area curled a rightfoot shot off the outstretched fingertips of goalkeeper Guillermo Viscarra and into the far upper corner for his 30th international goal.

Balogun doubled the lead when he received a pass from Pulisic, took several touches and threaded a low, leftfoot shot along the ground, past defender Jesús Sagredo and inside Viscarra’s far post for his fourth goal in 13 appearances.

Pulisic joined Clint Dempsey as the only American players with a goal and an assist in a Copa America match and reached 30 goals in 69 international appearances, the fewest among Americans.

Balogun put the ball in the net again in the 53d off a pass from Weah, but Weah was whistled for offside when he received the ball from Weston McKennie in the buildup, a decision confirmed in a video review.

Midfielder Tyler Adams, regaining fitness after a back injury, played the first half in his first start for club or country since March 30. Adams and Bologun were inserted into the starting lineup in place of Yunus Musah and Ricardo Pepi in the two changes from the lineup for the 1-1 exhibition draw against Brazil on June 12. Musah replaced Adams at the start of the second half and Pepi entered in the 65th.

Viscarra pushed Pepi’s 79th-minute shot over the crossbar, then stopped Pepi in the 90th on a point-blank initial attempt and another off the rebound.

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