US edges closer to CONCACAF fi­nals

The Myanmar Times - - World -

BORUSSIA Dort­mund teenager Chris­tian Pulisic scored twice as the United States thrashed Saint Vin­cent and the Gre­nadines 6-0 on Septem­ber 2 to edge closer to a place in the fi­nal round of CONCACAF qual­i­fiers for the 2018 World Cup.

A first-half flurry of goals from Bobby Wood, Matt Besler and Jozy Alti­dore ef­fec­tively sealed a straight­for­ward vic­tory for Jur­gen Klins­mann’s side against the Caribbean min­nows.

Ris­ing star Pulisic added a fourth for the USA in the 71st minute shortly af­ter com­ing on as a sec­ond-half s ub­sti­tute.

Pulisic, 17, then laid on the fifth for another sub­sti­tute, Sacha Kl­jes­tan, in the 78th minute.

Pulisic com­pleted the scor­ing with a con­fi­dent fin­ish in in­jury time to make it 6-0.

The win left the United States within touch­ing dis­tance of the “Hexag­o­nal” fi­nal round of qual­i­fiers.

Klins­mann’s side would have been as­sured of qual­i­fi­ca­tion if Trinidad & Tobago had beaten Gu­atemala in the day’s other Group C game.

How­ever two goals from Car­los Ruiz – in­clud­ing an 87th-minute equaliser – se­cured a 2-2 draw for Gu­atemala in Port of Spain against the “Soca War­riors”.

The re­sult means the USA need a point in their fi­nal group game against Trinidad in Jack­sonville, Florida to­mor­row to be cer­tain of pro­gress­ing to the later rounds.

“It’s a nice win and the team de­serves a com­pli­ment, but we’ve got to fin­ish it off Tues­day,” Klins­mann said af­ter Fri­day’s rout of St Vin­cent.

The USA, who had beaten St Vin­cent and the Gre­nadines 6-1 in their home fix­ture ear­lier in the qual­i­fiers, took their time be­fore mak­ing the break­through in Fri­day’s game at the Arnos Vale cricket ground.

The first goal came when Wood curled in a shot from the edge of the area on 28 min­utes af­ter good work from Alti­dore and Fabian John­son.

Besler had cel­e­brated the birth of his baby daugh­ter just hours be­fore kick-off, then marked the oc­ca­sion with his first in­ter­na­tional goal on 32 min­utes, vol­ley­ing home from close range af­ter a Gra­ham Zusi free­kick caused panic in the St Vin­cent penalty area.

Alti­dore put the USA 3-0 up two min­utes be­fore half-time, ram­ming home an em­phatic penalty af­ter St Vin­cent’s Roy Richards had up­ended Wood in the area. –

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