Sport US back on track for World Cup, Pulisic leads rout of Panama

05:25  07 october  2017
05:25  07 october  2017 Source:   Associated Press

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  Pulisic rewards young US fan who donated jersey to Puerto Rico charity Seven-year-old Alex Idarra wanted to help the people of Puerto Rico and his efforts prompted the U.S. international into actionThe U.S. territory of Puerto Rico was recently hit by Hurricane Maria, which has left the vast majority of the population without electricity and many on the island without food and drinking water.

(AP) — Teenage star Christian Pulisic scored with a brilliant touch to complete a field-length attack just eight minutes in, then split the defense with a pass that set up Jozy Altidore for the first of the forward's two goals and put the United States back on track for next year's World Cup with a 4-0 rout of

(AP) — Teenage star Christian Pulisic scored with a brilliant touch to complete a field-length attack just eight minutes in, then split the defense with a pass that set up Jozy Altidore for the first of the forward's two goals and put the United States back on track for next year's World Cup with a 4-0 rout of

United States' Christian Pulisic (10) gets past Panama goalkeeper Jaime Penedo (1) to score a goal during the first half of a World Cup qualifying soccer match, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)© The Associated Press United States' Christian Pulisic (10) gets past Panama goalkeeper Jaime Penedo (1) to score a goal during the first half of a World Cup qualifying soccer match, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

ORLANDO, Fla. — Teenage star Christian Pulisic scored with a brilliant touch to complete a field-length attack just eight minutes in, then split the defense with a pass that set up Jozy Altidore for the first of the forward's two goals and put the United States back on track for next year's World Cup with a 4-0 rout of Panama on Friday night.

Pulisic fed Altidore for a 2-0 lead in the 19th. Altidore converted a penalty kick with a chip in the 43rd after Bobby Wood was fouled, and Wood added a goal in the 63rd.

VIDEO: Pulisic scores Messi-like goal for U.S. vs. Panama

  VIDEO: Pulisic scores Messi-like goal for U.S. vs. Panama The 19-year-old walked his way around goalkeeper Jaime Penedo to give the Americans an early lead in their crucial World Cup qualifier in OrlandoThe 19-year-old Pulisic looked a lot like the Barcelona star as he blew past Panama defenders and tip-toed around goalkeeper Jaime Penedo to give the U.S. a one-goal lead in Friday's World Cup qualifier.

(AP) — Teenage star Christian Pulisic scored with a brilliant touch to complete a field-length attack just eight minutes in, then split the defense with a pass that set up Jozy Altidore for the first of the forward's two goals and put the United States back on track for next year's World Cup with a 4-0 rout of

(AP) -- Teenage star Christian Pulisic scored with a brilliant touch to complete a field-length attack just eight minutes in, then split the defense with a pass that set up Jozy Altidore for the first of the forward's two goals and put the United States back on track for next year's World Cup with a 4-0 rout of

The U.S. ended a three-match winless streak in qualifying and with 12 points and moved two points ahead of Panama into third place — the last automatic berth — in the North and Central American and Caribbean region. Honduras has nine points going into its match Saturday at Costa Rica, which is second with 15.

Goal difference means the Americans put themselves in great shape to reach an eighth straight World Cup, almost certainly with a win Tuesday at Trinidad and Tobago and likely with a draw if Honduras fails to win Saturday. The U.S. is plus-five to minus-two for Panama and minus-seven for Honduras.

The region's fourth-place team advances to a playoff next month against Australia or Syria.

"We could have finished better on the day and scored more goals," U.S. coach Bruce Arena said.

In danger of missing World Cup, US needs win over Panama

  In danger of missing World Cup, US needs win over Panama Months and months of stumbles have put the United States in a precarious position. Preparing for Friday's crucial qualifier against Panama, the U.S. held a closed-doors scrimmage Wednesday against Orlando City's B team. A victory Friday would put the U.S. on track to reach its eighth straight World Cup with a win or possibly a tie at Trinidad and Tobago next week. Less than a victory against the Panamanians could lead to either a playoff next month or elimination.

(AP) — Teenage star Christian Pulisic scored with a brilliant touch to complete a field-length attack just eight minutes in, then split the defense with a pass that set up Jozy Altidore for the first of the forward's two goals and put the United States back on track for next year's World Cup with a 4-0 rout of

Goal Scoring Rundown: USA – Clint Dempsey (Christian Pulisic ), 39th minute: A The MNT is an unbeaten 5-0-2 against Panama in World Cup Qualifying and 2-0-2 when playing at Estadio Rommel Fernandez. The 18-year-old leads the team with five assists in 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying

Playing his first international match since he turned 19 last month, Pulisic was moved to central midfield from the flanks by coach Bruce Arena and sparked the attack from the opening whistle with pace and ball control seldom seen from Americans.

After Gabriel Gomez broke free from Omar Gonzalez and shot over the crossbar, Tim Howard's goal kick was headed forward by Bobby Wood about 10 yards past midfield.

Altidore one-timed the ball ahead to on a sprinting Pulisic, and the midfielder reached back with his left leg to flick the ball ahead. Pulisic jumped to avoid Roman Torres' challenge and used the outside of his right foot to play the ball forward. As goalkeeper Jaime Penedo came off his line, Pulisic used the outside of his right foot again to play the ball wide and jumped over Pinedo's outstretched arm. At the edge of the 6-yard box and just 2 yards from the endline, Pulisic reached with his right foot to slot the ball in, completing a 112-yard U.S. move. Pulisic tumbled over as the ball rolled in for his eighth goal in 19 international appearances, his fourth in the hex.

Costa Rica qualifies for World Cup in dramatic fashion

  Costa Rica qualifies for World Cup in dramatic fashion A late goal from Kendall Waston against Honduras saw the Ticos secure their place at the 2018 World CupA powerful header from Eddie Hernandez put Honduras in front in the 66th minute in the World Cup qualifier in San Jose, in a clash pushed back a day due to Tropical Storm Nate.

Highlights: USA Secures Valuable Hex Point in 1-1 Panama Draw. Under returning MNT head coach Bruce Arena, Pulisic picked up where he left off this past March, running rampant in midfield as he picked up a goal and two assists in the USA ’s 6-0 World Cup Qualifying rout of Honduras.

USMNT routs Honduras to emphatically get back on track in World Cup qualifying. A delicate Pulisic lob found Dempsey for his first goal, when he bulled defenders off him and finished with Now Dempsey is at 55 and within striking distance, perhaps as early as Tuesday night in Panama .

Pulisic created the second goal when he played the ball between his feet and faked Michael Murillo on the left flank Pulisic broke ahead and fed Altidore, who split the center backs and redirected the ball in from 5 yards for his first goal of the hexagonal. At that point, Pulisic had played a part in 11 of the Americans' 14 goals in the hex.

After Wood and Altidore failed to convert good chances, Wood drew the penalty kick when he exchanged passes with Paul Arriola along a flank, broke past Felipe Baloy, spurted diagonally into the penalty area and was pushed down by Armando Cooper. As Pinedo dived to his left, Altidore chipped the ball down the center for his 41st international game.

Hacked down several times by Panamanians, Pulisic was removed in the 57th minute and walked out to a standing ovation from the sellout crowd of 25,303 at Orlando City Stadium, which opened in February,

Wood added his 10th international goal off a pass from Arriola.

Panama was trying to move into position to qualify for its first World Cup. The Panamanians were 90 seconds from advancing to a playoff against New Zealand four years ago, when Graham Zusi and Aron Johannsson scored late goals at Honduras, which dropped Panama behind Mexico and into fifth place.

Notes: All U.S. players stood at attention during "The Star-Spangled Banner" and all but Jozy Altidore and DeAndre Yedlin had their right hands over their hearts.

Panama helped into World Cup by bizarre phantom goal call .
Let’s get one thing straight: The United States does not deserve to make the World Cup after an awful performance against Trinidad and Tobago. But there’s no denying that Panama’s win over Costa Rica that helped them past the USMNT and into the tournament was aided by a phantom goal that shouldn’t have been allowed. In the 53rd minute, Blas Perez scored an equalizer against Los Ticos. Except there’s one big problem — the ball never crossed the line.Full look at Blas Pérez phantom goal given for #Panama vs #CostaRica in #PANCRC. Never crossed the line. Paging @CONCACAF. (via @tdmas_cr) pic.twitter.

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