United States men’s Coach Jurgen Klinsmann and his team answered the critics with a dominating 4-0 win over Guatemala Tuesday nights at Columbus, Ohio to move into second place in Group C of the CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying Semifinal Round play.
With critics questioning the USMNT tactics and heart after last Fridays 2-0 loss in Guatemala, saying the yanks pride and character was bruised would be a major understatement. With pride and character on the line, Klinsmann put out an aggressive line up with the intent to stretch the Guatemalan defense and create space in the middle so that midfielder players Michale Bradley and Graham Zusi have time and space to feed the ball to forwards Bobby Wood, Clint Dempsey and Gyasi Zardes.
It took all of 12 minutes for the full metal to the throttle strategy to pay off as, Clint Dempsey rifled a right footed shot past Guatemalan keeper Paulo Motta to give Dempsey and his teammates the dream start.
“I thought we showed a lot of heart. We showed a lot of character by dealing with a pressure situation. We showed our pride.” Dempsey said after the game.” You’ve got to do that if want to make it to the World Cup. You’ve got to show that you want it, and we showed that we wanted it.”
With the goal, Dempsey moved into sole possession of the USMNT all-time World Cup Qualifying goals record with 14. With a goal in hand the U.S. continued to push forward and the aggressiveness paid off in the 35th minute when Geoff Cameron headed home a free kick by captain Michael Bradley for the 2-0 lead.
The U.S. had several opportunities to widen the margin but found themselves at the break with the 2-nil lead. The U.S. started the second half as they did the first, aggressive and in search of goals. Gyasi Zardes found wide a open Graham Zusi one minute into the half, and the Sporting KC striker one time the shot for the 3-0 lead.
Second half sub Jozy Altidore added a 90th minute goal to put an exclamation mark on a dominant U.S. win. A win the team needed to have according to midfielder Kyle Beckerman.
“It was a huge response from us. We knew we had to do better from last game and it demanded a response that we had to put on today and we had to go get that win. As for the effort and all the intensity and the aggression that we put in today was something we talked about the past couple of days. We talked about it and then we went out and did it.”
The USA is now 8-1-5 overall in World Cup Qualifying matches vs. los Chapines and 8-0-0 in matches on U.S. soil. With five goals, Dempsey is the USA’s all-time leading scorer against Guatemala. He has tallied four of those in his last four appearances vs. los Chapines.
U.S. Men’s National Team Match Report –
Match:U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Guatemala
Date: March 29, 2016
Competition: 2018 World Cup Qualifying – Semifinal Round
Venue: MAPFRE Stadium; Columbus, Ohio
Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET
Weather: 45 degrees, clear
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 2 2 4
GUA 0 0 0
USA – Clint Dempsey (Gyasi Zardes) 12th minute
USA – Geoff Cameron (Michael Bradley) 35
USA – Graham Zusi (Gyasi Zardes) 46
USA – Jozy Altidore (Clint Dempsey) 89
USA: 1-Brad Guzan; 2-DeAndre Yedlin, 21-Steve Birnbaum, 20-Geoff Cameron, 23-Edgar Castillo; 19-Graham Zusi (11-Christian Pulisic, 81), 15-Kyle Beckerman, 4-Michael Bradley (capt.); 7-Bobby Wood (17-Jozy Altidore, 66), 8-Clint Dempsey, 9-Gyasi Zardes (13-Ethan Finlay, 71)
Subs Not Used: 3-Omar Gonzalez, 5-Ventura Alvarado, 6-Lee Nguyen, 10-Mix Diskerud, 12-Tim Howard, 14-Michael Orozco, 16-Darlington Nagbe, 18-Chris Wondolowski, 22-David Bingham
Head coach: Jurgen Klinsmann
GUA: 12-Paulo Motta; 3-Cristian Jimenez, 5-Moises Hernandez, 8-Jean Marquez, 9-Gerson Tinoco (7-Luis Fernando Martinez, 74); 11-Mafre Icute (20-Carlos Ruiz, 46), 13-Carlos Castrillo, 14-Rafael Morales, 10-Jose Contreras; 18-Stefano Cincotta (16-Marco Pappa, 46), 22-Rodrigo Saravia
Subs Not Used: 1-Ricardo Jerez, 2-Jonathan Winibacker Lopez, 4-Hamilton Lopez, 6-Marco Rivas, 15-Luis Cardona, 17-Gerardo Arias, 19-Kevin Arriola, 21-Jose Carlos Garcia, 23-Edi Guerra
Head coach: Walter Claveri
Stats Summary: USA / GUA
Shots: 6 / 4
Shots on Goal: 3 / 1
Saves: 1 / 0
Corner Kicks: 5 / 1
Fouls: 14 / 14
Offside: 6 / 0
GUA – Cristian Jimenez (caution) 34th minute
USA – Michael Bradley (caution) 71
Referee: Valdin Legister (JAM)
Assistant Referee 1: Lloyd Edwards (JAM)
Assistant Referee 2: Keble Williams (JAM)
4th Official: Karl Tyrell (JAM)
Budweiser Man of the Match: Geoff Cameron