At the 60th minute, this was a one-goal game despite the fact that the U.S. had held over 70 percent of the possession and doubled El Salvador’s shots on goal. Then the dam broke, with a lopsided affair leaving the Salvadorans fortunate to get out of Baltimore with only a 5-1 loss.
We’ve already discussed the game, broken it down, named our heroes and looked into their futures. Now let’s focus on the goals. Here’s a countdown of the tallies that seemed to get easier as the night went on.
5. Mix Diserkud’s header – At 4-1 late in the second half, El Salvador was toast, which is why they provided little opposition to the U.S. playing wide in the area, chipping back toward, and creating a game-icing goal for their young midfielder. Pretty basic stuff.
4. Landon Donovan rips the defense in two – After the game, people were talking about Donovan’s renewed motivation. Who knows if Sunday was different or he just had a good day, but sprinting through the Salvadoran defense, easily weaving around Dagoberto Portillo, Donovan showed a spark while racking up the 54th goal of his international career.
3. Eddie Johnson finds the corner … off a corner – Get a free run up, have nobody go up with you, and you’re supposed to put the ball on frame. That’s what good targets do. Eddie Johnson, however, cushioned an unstoppable ball into the upper-left hand corner from six yards out, restoring the U.S.’s two-goal lead at the hour mark.
2. Clarence Goodson opens the scoring – It was an easy finish after some defensive breakdowns, but bonus points for execution to the U.S. on this one; a rare moment where something seemingly translates from the drawing board and training ground directly onto the pitch. A short corner is played back to Michael Parkhurst, who chips toward the line for Donovan. Donovan cuts back to Goodson, and in the 21st minute, the U.S. have their opener.
1. Joe Corona doubles the U.S.’s lead – The day’s best finish, the goal was also notable for what Landon Donovan did to set it up, putting the defense on their heels before allowing Chris Wondolowski to set up Corona. The Club Tijuana star patiently finds a lane through which to fire the U.S. to a 2-0 lead.