In Commerce City, Christian Pulisic continued to etch his name into US Soccer folklore Thursday night in World Cup Qualification. Pulisic scored both goals in the USMNT win over Trinidad and Tobago.
With this victory, USA are thoroughly back on the road to Russia. They now sit in third place, with games remaining this round however, and that is only a good thing. Third place means that the US will not have to go through qualification.
Slow start to match
USA controlled the first 45 minutes of play, creating multiple chances. However, they were unable to find a breakthrough, though, as both sides went into halftime without a goal.
It took 15 minutes for the US to find the first decent scoring opportunity and it came through Clint Dempsey. However, he hit his shot over the top of the cross bar.
Trinidad’s goalkeeper preserved his early clean sheet with a couple of fine displays in goal.
Not known for his shooting ability, John Anthony Brooks tested Jan Michael Williams from distance in the 25th minute. The T&T goalkeeper saved it well enough, but it was signs of things to come.
Williams then made a save off a Jozy Altidore attempt off a nice move down the left side of the pitch. Following that bit of action, the cameras caught Williams breathing heavily after keeping his country in the match for the time being.
The Pulisic Show
The first goal of the night came in the 52nd minute. DeAndre Yedlin played a perfect low pass through the middle of the box, evading T&T defenders. Borussia Dortmund’s youngster slid in to poke the ball past Williams.
Celebrations were cut short at Dick Sporting Good’s Park, as T&T found the back of the net almost immediately after the restart through Khaleem Hyland. But the assistant referee put his flag up straight away for offsides giving the US life once again.
Ten minutes following their opening goal, Pulisic netted his second of the evening. He combined with Altidore to get in behind the Trinidad defense. Then, Pulisic hit a right-footed shot at the near post in between the arm and leg of Williams to double the USA’s advantage.
With seven minutes remaining in the match, Bobby Wood, who hadn’t been on the pitch for very long, nearly scored the US’ third goal. He took a whack near the edge of the box, but his effort bounced back off the left post.
Bruce Arena and the squad got three points and the job done. Sunday is a different story. They will travel to the famed Estadio Azteca to take on heated rivals Mexico.
Trinidad and Tobago, meanwhile, look to be all but out of the FIFA World Cup with this defeat. However, they still have games remaining and their next one is against Costa Rica on the road.