November 13, 2015
SLOW START, GREAT FINISH
Make that 6 finishes as USMNT roll to 6-1 WCQ win over St. Vincent as Altidore strikes twice
ST. LOUIS -- Despite a slow start and facing a one-goal deficit five minutes after kickoff, the United States bounced back and cruised to a 6-1 triumph over St. Vincent & the Grenadines in a CONCACAF Group C semifinal match of World Cup qualifying Friday night.
|After a slow start, Jozy Altidore was among several players to key a relentless American attack against St. Vincent & the Grenadines.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
Oalex Anderson had given the visitors the lead with a stunning fifth-minute goal before the Americans rebounded behind two goals by former Red Bulls striker Jozy Altidore and one apiece from Bobby Wood, Fabian Johnson, Geoff Cameron and Gyasi Zardes to secure the victory at Busch Stadium.
The qualifier was played at a baseball stadium as the dirt infield was covered with grass, although that did not seem to affect the quality of play.
It was the USA's first qualifier of the 2018 cycle, which leads to Russia in 2018.
St. Vincent took advantage of a tentative American backline to give the Caribbean side a fifth-minute lead as Anderson grabbed a poor DeAndre Yedlin clearance, raced into the penalty area and beat goalkeeper Brad Guzan from 12 yards.
The goal woke up the Americans, who dominated the rest of the half as they struck for three goals during a 21-minute span to break the game open.
First, Wood, who has made a reputation as a super-sub, deftly headed in a Yedlin right-wing cross from six yards past goalkeeper for the equalizer in the 11th minute.
After St. Vincent captain Kevin Francis fouled Altidore just shy of the penalty area, Johnson drilled a free kick from the left side that deflected off the defensive wall and past goalkeeper Winslow McDowell into the net for a 2-1 American lead in the 30th minute.
Only two minutes later, a Johnson corner kick started the sequence that led to the USA's third goal. Standing on the left side of the box, midfielder Jermaine Jones headed the corner to an unmarked Altidore at the far post and he had an easy header for a 3-1 advantage. Altidore, who tallied his 11th World Cup qualifying goal, became the fifth USA player to reach 30 international goals.
The hosts increased their lead to 4-1 in the 51st minute off another Johnson corner kick. This time Wood flicked it at the near left post to Cameron, who headed it home from 12 yards for his second goal in his last three international matches.
The relentless USA continued to put pressure on the St. Vincent goal as Zardes converted an Altidore feed from 12 yards in the 58th minute before Altidore completed the scoring in the 73rd minute.
The Americans next will play at Trinidad & Tobago Tuesday while St. Vincent will host Guatemala the same day.