The United States rolled up their sleeves and smashed Guatemala 4-0 on Tuesday at MAPFIRE Stadium. The USA’s record at Columbus improves to (W-L-D) 8-0-3 all time.
The midfield dominated the match from the very start. The USMNT never allowed the Central Americans to gain any rhythm. Whether the Yanks moved the ball around the pitch or just physically did not allow Los Azul y Blanco to hold on to the ball.
The Yanks won 61 challenges; they completed 14 tackles and also picked up 17 fouls. The message from the midfield and the defense was clear; they were not going to be beat by the pace of La Furia Azul.
The Early Break Through
The U.S. hot start was rewarded with an early goal from Clint Dempsey in the 12th minute. The Seattle Sounders F.C. striker placed himself in the right spot to recover Gyasi Zardes deflection from his shoulder.
The ball bounced right in front of the veteran striker in the penalty box. Dempsey wasted no time and blasted the ball to the bottom right hand corner to give the Yanks a 1-0 lead.
Dempsey scored his 49th goal for the national team. He is now only eight goals away from tying Landon Donovan for the all time leading scorer of the USMNT.
The USMNT Midfield Takes Over
After taking the lead the USMNT did not relax. The triangle midfield of the Yanks: Kyle Beckerman, Michael Bradley and Graham Zusi kept pushing the tempo and forcing the Guatemalans to defend.
Eventually the Yanks offense movement drew a foul right outside the penalty box in the 33rd minute. Bradley took the set piece and placed the ball right in front of the mouth of the goal. Geoff Cameron crashed the box and headed the ball into the back of the net to double the lead to 2-0 in the 35th minute.
The Yanks entered the half with momentum and the Central Americans were lost and discouraged. Their morale dropped even more when Zusi increased the lead to 3-0 with only seconds into the second half.
The dominance of the midfield continued as the Guatemalans struggled to string two passes together. In result, the Chapines were only able to create five shots in the match.
Right before the match ended, Jozy Altidore increased the lead to 4-0 for the United States in the 89th minute. The substitute forward hammered a close range shot into the upper 90 to seal the crucial victory for the USMNT. He also scored his 34th goal for the national team in the process.
Where They Stand and Who's Next For Them
With this result the Yanks are now in second place with seven points. As for the Chapines this humbling defeat has placed them in third place with six points.
The two nations will be back in action on September second for the fifth match of the fourth round. Both the USA and Guatemala will be on the road. The Yanks will be heading to the Arnos Vale Stadium to face Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. The Central Americans will be traveling to the Caribbean to face Trinidad and Tobago at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.