US clinches spot in CON­CA­CAF fi­nals

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

STRIKER Jozy Alti­dore scored twice as the United States thrashed Trinidad and Tobago 4-0 on Septem­ber 6 to book their place in the fi­nal round of the CON­CA­CAF re­gion’s 2018 World Cup qual­i­fiers.

Alti­dore scored twice in four min­utes mid­way through the sec­ond half, ei­ther side of goals from Sacha Kl­jes­tan and sub­sti­tute Paul Ar­riola, to con­firm an em­phatic win for the hosts at EverBank Field in Jack­sonville, Florida.

Jur­gen Klins­mann’s side had needed only a point to be sure of reach­ing the fi­nal round of qual­i­fiers for Cen­tral Amer­ica, North Amer­ica and the Caribbean (CON­CA­CAF).

How­ever a con­fi­dent USA – who handed a first full com­pet­i­tive start to 17-year-old star­let Chris­tian Pulisic – were al­ways in con­trol against their out­classed Group C ri­vals.

The USA took the lead in the 44th minute when neat in­ter­play down the right flank in­volv­ing Fabian John­son, Kl­jes­tan and Pulisic sowed con­fu­sion in the Trinidad box.

Khaleem Hy­land made a mess of his clear­ance from Pulisic’s low cross, di­vert­ing the ball into the path of Kl­jes­tan who drilled home a low fin­ish.

Borus­sia Monchenglad­bach full­back John­son was in­volved in the build-up for the sec­ond on 59 min­utes, his pass find­ing Alti­dore just in­side the penalty area.

Alti­dore showed great com­po­sure to lose marker Mekeil Wil­liams be­fore stroking a low shot into the bot­tom left hand cor­ner.

Four min­utes later and it was 3-0. A clev­erly worked one-two between Kl­jes­tan and Pulisic sent the Borus­sia Dort­mund teenager away down the left and he looked up to pick out Alti­dore for the sim­plest of close-range tap-ins.

In the 71st minute it be­came 4-0 with Pulisic in­volved once again.

The young­ster’s shot was only half blocked by Trinidad goal­keeper Marvin Phillip and sub­sti­tute Ar­riola was on hand to sweep in the re­bound.

Photo: EPA

Alti­dore, shown here in an in­ter­na­tional friendly ear­lier this year, starred for the US as they cap­i­talised on strong play from teenaged phe­nom Chris­tian Pulisic.

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