Heading into their final two CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying matches, the USMNT were hoping for two victories to advance to the hexagonal round. Their opponent on Friday was St. Vincent and the Grenadines. In the reverse fixture last November, the U.S.A. won 6-1 over St. Vincent in St. Louis.
With key players striker Clint Dempsey and midfielder Jermaine Jones out, Bobby Wood and Alejandro Bedoya stepped in their place in the starting line-up. Brad Guzan got the nod in between the posts, while Matt Besler and Geoff Cameron started as the center-back duo.
Bobby Wood kicked off the scoring 28 minutes in, after he curled home a right-footed shot just outside the box to make it 1-0. Four minutes later, some sloppy defending by St. Vincent’s allowed Matt Besler to volley home from close range to make it 2-0.
The brand new father, scored his first goal for the stars & stripes and it couldn’t have come any easier. As the first half continued, St. Vincent’s tried to force some offensive chances but couldn’t beat Guzan in-goal.
Bobby Wood’s pressure late in the first half paid off as the forward drew a penalty kick after Roy Richards tackled him in the box. Jozy Altidore stepped up and smashed the PK home to make it 3-0 heading into halftime. The goal was Altidore’s 35th for the U.S.A.
In the 67th minute, Sacha Kljestan and Christian Pulisic were subbed on to freshen up the team. Pulisic, 17, is expected to do great things for the U.S. after also playing for German-side Borussia Dortmund. Fabian Johnson and Bedoya were subbed off after strong performances in the midfield. Four minutes after coming on the pitch, the duo helped score the U.S.’s fourth goal. Pulisic tapped home from close range after Kljestan’s assist.
Eleven minutes later, the duo struck again. This time, Pulisic’s assist was hit home by Kljestan to make it 5-0. Pulisic would add a 90th minute insurance goal from outside the box that left St. Vincent’s goalkeeper Lemus Christopher flat-footed.
At the final whistle, the U.S. had a convincing 6-0 victory away from home. It was a great team effort, which saw the U.S.A. have 65% of the match possession, and 19 total shots.
Jurgen Klinsmann‘s squad will need at least a point in their final World Cup Qualifying match on Tuesday against Trinidad & Tobago to advance to the hexagonal round. Luckily, they will be back home in Jacksonville for their final match. After their quick impact on Friday, look for Sacha Kljestan and Christian Pulisic to be considered for Klinsmann’s starting line-up.
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