Despite an early scare, with St. Vincent and the Grenadines scoring the opening goal inside five minutes, the United States cruised to a 6-1 victory to open up their World Cup Qualifying campaign in St. Louis on Friday evening.
It was the visitors though who imposed themselves in the opening minutes of the game. Oalex Anderson busted down the left side of the pitch before cutting back inside the area. His shot in the second minute, however, completely missed the target. Three minutes later though, Anderson’s finish got exponentially better. A ball over the top split Geoff Cameron and DeAndre Yedlin and Anderson found himself in tons of space before curling his shot past a diving Brad Guzan.
Order was restored for the United States five minutes later. Yedlin made amends to his early defensive lapse as he made a run to the opposition’s byline before floating a ball back towards the area of Bobby Wood. The Union Berlin forward adjusted his body brilliantly to get his head on the pass to level the match. A second goal nearly came six minutes later after Fabian Johnson slipped Wood in behind SVG’s defense only to see his chipped effort not find the back of the net.
Michael Bradley continued America’s dominance as he weaved past a couple of defenders skillfully only to have his shot stopped well, 22 minutes into the affair. Then it was Gyasi Zardes’ turn to go close but the Galaxy striker snatches at the shot as he rifled it wide of the goal.
Right before the half hour mark, there was finally a second goal and it came via the right foot of Fabian Johnson. His free kick delivery took a massive deflection on its way into the net. Two minutes later, a third goal was scored by Jozy Altidore. Off of a corner, Altidore ran inside the goal to lose his marker and after Jermaine Jones’ initial header at the near post made its way towards the back post, the Toronto FC striker made no mistake with his free header.
The second half nearly began with a goal from Matt Besler as his header, following a short corner, going just wide. In the 51st minute, Winslow McDowall made a fine save on a long range shot from Bobby Wood. But again, on the ensuing corner, Geoff Cameron made SVG pay for their inept marking ability. A near post-delivery got deflected into a ton of space in the middle of the pitch where the Stoke City man’s free header found the back of the net for the fourth goal.
Out of seemingly nowhere, Gyasi Zardes scored his country’s fifth goal. Jozy Altidore dropped deep into midfield to pick up the ball to regain possession, he played in Zardes with a deft little ball for the goal scorer placed his shot with ease in behind McDowall. Once more Gyasi and Jozy linked up with Zardes’ shot was stopped.
The six and final goal was scored with 17 minutes remaining in the match as Jozy Altidore buried his second. After showing some good skill holding the ball up before turning and having his shot deflected off defender and it redirected into the right part of the goal.