Clint Dempsey and Geoff Cameron each had a goal and an assist, while Graham Zusi and Jozy Altidore added second half insurance tallies as the USMNT picked up a 4-0 win in a must-have CONCACAF World Cup qualifying match against Guatemala.
The win boosts the Yanks back over Guatemala in Group A of World Cup qualifying, three points behind Trinidad and Tobago with two matches to play in the fourth round.
Jurgen Klinsmann’s record in home World Cup qualifiers improved to 10-0 with the decisive victory.
The U.S. heads to St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Sept. 2 before finishing with Trinidad and Tobago at home on Sept. 6.
The Yanks needed an early goal to feel good, and the former captain took care of that after 11 minutes.
Geoff Cameron played a long ball into the 18 and two Guatemalan defenders were sucked into covering a streaking Gyasi Zardes. The ball hit Zardes’ shoulder and dropped into the path of Dempsey, who buried his shot past Paulo Motta. 1-0.
It was Dempsey’s 14th goal of World Cup qualifying, moving him past Landon Donovan for the most in USMNT history.
— Ben Jata (@Ben_Jata) March 29, 2016
Guatemala got its first shot on goal, not a troubling one, in the 34th minute. It wasn’t a sign of things to come, as Bradley sent a gorgeous free kick into the 18 where Cameron nodded the ball past Motta.
Geoff Cameron gets his fourth #USMNT goal, all scored with his head.
— Paul Carr (@PCarrESPN) March 30, 2016
It’s a good thing the score was 2-0 when Bobby Wood missed an absolute sitter just before halftime. The Hawaii-born striker burst past the Guatemala line to bring a chance down, beat the keeper but missed his shot in comical fashion (Not comical for Wood, mind you).
After halftime, Zusi reaped the rewards of a bad touch from Zardes, beating Dempsey to a loose ball in the six and belting it past Motta. 3-0. Game over.
Guatemala had some moments moving forward but no real trouble for Guzan, while the Yanks were just a few deft touches away from making it a real blowout. Jozy Altidore and Ethan Finlay were the first two U.S. subs, and added to the threat.
Guzan was finally tested by a low Marquez offering in the 79th minute, but was relatively comfortable in scooping it up.
Christian Pulisic subbed on for Zusi in the 81st minute, becoming the youngest USMNT player to appear in a World Cup qualifying at the ripe old age of 17.
Finlay was wrongly adjudged to be offside when he thought he had made it 4-0, but Altidore wasn’t denied on his goal.
The Toronto FC striker made it 4-0 when Dempsey found himself with loads of time in the 18 and both Pulisic and the goal scorer open. Altidore left no doubt.