Sunderland 0-0 Norwich City: A point, but Black Cats remain last (video)

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Sunderland were buoyed after their midweek win over Chelsea in the League Cup and early on Fabio Borini went clear but could only hit the side-netting when he should have hit the target.

Nowrich pressed for most of the first half but the home side looked dangerous on the counter-attack and pushed forward for an opener.

Jozy Altidore dallied when clean through as the USMNT striker should have hit an effort first time but instead wanted to take a touch and was then dispossessed.

The home fans weren’t happy as the Black Cats looked a little devoid of cutting edge going forward.

Norwich went close through Gary Hooper and Leroy Fer as the interval loomed, with the latter thwarted by Vito Mannone’s great save.

But despite all of that pressure, the first half ended scoreless at the Stadium of Light. As did the second.

With twenty minutes left to play, Sunderland very nearly put themselves in front after a spot of shambolic defending from Norwich, but Wes Brown’s header cracked off the post.

The hosts very nearly capitalized on the Canaries’ defensive lapses ten minutes later, when John Ruddy elected to take a trip over to the corner flag, and found himself tackled. Ki Sung-Yueng took advantage and sent in a shot from about 25 yards out, but the strike went just high.

Perhaps the most exciting moments of the match occurred during injury time, as the referee waved away a penalty appeal from the hosts, who were claiming handball from Sebastien Bassong. Moments later, Brown was shown a straight red for a reckless challenge on Ricky van Wolfswinkel.

LINEUPS

Sunderland: Mannone, Celustka, Bardsley, Ki, O’Shea, Brown, Giaccherini (Johnson 63), Cattermole, Altidore (Fletcher 68), Larsson (Roberge 90), Borini

Norwich: Ruddy, Whittaker, Olsson, Fer, Turner, Bassong Nguena, Snodgrass, Johnson, Elmander (van Wolfswinkle 77), Hooper, Redmond

AT HALF: Lletget, Bradley, Dempsey spur USMNT to 3-0 lead

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The United States men’s national team’s bid to recover their 2018 World Cup hopes is off to a flying start.

As it stands, the 3-0 halftime lead provided by Sebastian Lletget, Michael Bradley, and Clint Dempsey has the Yanks up from sixth to fourth in the Hex table.

Sebastian Lletget scored a fifth minute goal to ease the tensions of the Avaya Stadium crowd in San Jose, though he’d leave the match with injury before the match was 20 minutes old.

Sloppy Honduran defending caused a turnover outside the 18, and Jozy Altidore played Christian Pulisic in on goal.

[ LIVE – Play-by-play via @USSoccer ]

Keeper Donis Escober got a piece of Pulisic’s shot, but no one followed Lletget to the back post and the ex-West Ham and current LA Galaxy man quickly put the Yanks up 1-0.

Then it was the captain who doubled the lead, as Honduras inexplicably gave him the room to walk across the arc of the 18 to rip a shot across goal. 2-0.

It was Clint Dempsey’s turn in the 33rd minute, after an otherworldly scooped pass from Pulisic.

What. A. Pass. Kid.

LINEUP

USMNT: Howard; Villafana, Gonzalez, Brooks, Cameron; Bradley, Lletget (Bedoya, 18′), Nagbe; Pulisic, Dempsey, Altidore.

Goals: Lletget (5′), Bradley (27′), Dempsey (33′)

LIVE – USMNT looks to right ship vs. Honduras

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The United States starts to make amends for its 0-2 start to the final round of World Cup qualifying with a match against Honduras on Friday in San Jose.

Losses to Mexico and Costa Rica cost Jurgen Klinsmann his job and Bruce Arena will try things differently

[ LIVE – Play-by-play via @USSoccer ]

Most importantly for Arena, Geoff Cameron and Tim Howard are available this time around.

Cameron starts at right back, with John Brooks and Omar Gonzalez in the center of the back four. Jorge Villafana slots into the mix at left back.

Captain Michael Bradley will sit atop the midfield, with Darlington Nagbe, Sebastian Lletget, and Christian Pulisic in the midfield.

Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore are the forwards. Kickoff is set for 10:55 p.m. EDT from Avaya Stadium.

Minnesota’s Molino lifts Trinidad and Tobago to big win (video)

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Minnesota United attacker Kevin Molino has given Trinidad and Tobago life in the race to win a spot at the 2018 World Cup.

Molino’s 37th minute goal gave hosts T&T a 1-0 lead against visiting Panama at Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain on Friday, and the Soca Warriors held on to win its first points of qualifying.

Panama had a Luis Tejada goal controversially ruled offside as Los Canaleros nearly pulled their fifth point of the Hex. Panama faces the USMNT on Tuesday in Panama City.

[ WATCH: Zaha scores wonder vs. Russia ]

Molino fooled long time LA Galaxy goalkeeper Jaime Penedo with a low shot across the body. The Panama backstop couldn’t get low enough or far enough with his dive to stop the shot.

The win has T&T in fifth place on the Hex table, behind Honduras on goal differential and three points ahead of the last place USMNT.

The U.S. needs a two-goal win to pass T&T, and a three-goal win to climb above Honduras.

WATCH: Zaha drives Russia nuts with mazy dribble goal

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Wilfried Zaha combined balance, deft touch, and breakneck speed to score his first international goal for the Ivory Coast.

With his side leading Russia 1-0 on Friday, the Crystal Palace winger worked his way through four defenders before burying his shot.

[ MORE: Smalling hurt, Gibson called up ]

Zaha especially fooled with Ilya Kutepov, a harsh cut nearly tipping both to the field.

He’s just 24, and it seems much longer ago that he made his failed move to Manchester United in 2013.

Failed may be a rough verb considering it all contributed to making him the player he is for Crystal Palace and Ivory Coast today.