United States soccer team boosts World Cup hopes by salvaging draw against Honduras
06 September, 2017, 13:55 | Author: Christina Hansen
No matter what the result on Tuesday, it is extremely likely Costa Rica will join Mexico in Russian Federation next summer, capping another successful cycle for los Ticos, who have already made three of the last four World Cups, including a thrilling run in Brazil where they did not lose in regulation and bowed out in penalty kicks to eventual third place winners Netherlands.
At the opening kickoff the ball came straight to the US captain, Michael Bradley. Christian Pulisic and Darlington Nagbe manned the flanks, and Jordan Morris started up front.
Their best chance to equalize before halftime came in the 41st minute when a nice buildup led to Morris feeding Pulisic deep into the box.
Dempsey made his presence felt early, drawing two Honduras yellow cards in the first quarter of the match.
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But for the United States men's national team, a late goal by the substitute Bobby Wood pocketed a desperate point for the U.S.in a CONCACAF World Cup qualifier against Honduras in San Pedro Sula on Tuesday evening.
But vulnerabilities in the back undermined the United States' improved play up top.
Two minutes later the roof fell in on the U.S. Gonzalez stretched on a desperation tackle, but Quioto kept his balance and recovered to collect a ideal through ball from Alexander López before putting a shot off the near post and into the net. Quioto regained his composure a finished with a curler around Brad Guzan for a 1-0 lead. Neither player was fast enough to deal with speedsters Quioto and Alberth Elis, who ran past the American fullbacks repeatedly. Los Catratchos had been pushing down both flanks with some success, targeting the Yanks' two offense-first fullbacks-Zusi and DaMarcus Beasley-deployed by Arena. The U.S. looked slow, uninspired, and lacking a coherent strategy. The misses extended the suspense but didn't offer much consolation for the Americans, who struggled to test the Honduran resistance.
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The first serious effort on goal came in the 28th minute and with it came a goal for Honduras.
The U.S. was looking wobbly for the next few minutes as Honduras continued to press forward, but the Americans managed to survive until half-time.
Tied at the break, things looked bleak for the Yanks. With the US losing their opening two CONCACAF Hexagonal World Cup Qualifying fixtures to Mexico and Costa Rica, thus completing the final chapter of Jurgen Klinsmann's rocky reign as manager, the fear of missing out on Russian Federation 2018 possessed a concerning amount of legitimacy.
Coach Bruce Arena hinted at lineup changes because of the conditions, perhaps like the myriad switches he made in June for a quick turnaround trip to Mexico City, where the United States earned a valuable draw.
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Honduras never did recapture that same level of energy in the second half, even with Arena sticking by Beasley and Zusi to start the second half.
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