The U.S. national team drew 0-0 at Trinidad and Tobago on Tuesday in the second game of the fourth round of 2018 World Cup qualifying in the CONCACAF region.
[ RECAP: USMNT 0-0 T&T ]
Jurgen Klinsmann’s side came closest to scoring with Gyasi Zardes guilty of wasting a glorious chance and Jermaine Jones striking the crossbar from distance in the second half, while T&T looked dangerous on the break with Kenwyne Jones proving a handful up front.
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Speaking after the game, Klinsmann was happy enough with a point on the road against the USMNT’s toughest opponents in Group C as they sit top of the standings with four points from their opening two games and are well on their way to qualifying for the fifth and final round of qualifying, the Hexagonal.
“All in all, a draw on the road is okay,” Klinsmann told reporters in Port of Spain. “It keeps us at the top of the group as we move towards Guatemala in March. As expected, it was a tricky game. There were chances on both sides, I think we had the better of them… We should have put one away.”
Defensive solidity was key for the U.S. against a T&T side who scored plenty of goals and performed well at the Gold Cup in the summer, plus had impressive friendly results and beat Guatemala on the road in their first Group C game. The U.S. started slowly and could have gone behind in the first minute but as the game played out the U.S. looked more likely to snatch all three points.
Klinsmann’s reluctance to be overjoyed with a point in Port of Spain is understandable but with Geoff Cameron and Matt Besler continuing their strong partnership in central defense and Tim Howard in goal, the USMNT looked strong at the back and it was a mature display, at least defensively. Going forward there were some issues with DeAndre Yedlin and Gyasi Zardes getting into some good positions out wide but failing with that all important final ball or effort on goal. Jozy Altidore ran himself into the ground up top but it was tough for him without any help as the lone forward in a 4-5-1 formation which was primarily deployed to secure at least a point on the road.
That’s exactly what the U.S. got and although they’re likely to qualify comfortably for the Hex, concerns about being happy with a point on the road at T&T remain.