World Soccer Talk

US edge closer to CONCACAF final round


Kingstown (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines) (AFP) – Borussia Dortmund teenager Christian Pulisic scored twice as the United States thrashed Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 6-0 on Friday 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 substitute.

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 means the United States can advance to the final round of qualifiers later Friday if Trinidad & Tobago defeat Guatemala in the day’s other Group C game.

A win for the USA in their final group game against Trinidad in Florida next Tuesday would see them qualify as group winners.

The USA, who had beaten St Vincent and the Grenadines 6-1 in their home fixture early 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 — who 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 free-kick 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.