A Convincing Win Puts US Through
- Updated: October 17, 2012
With a match met with much nerve and anticipation among the ranks of fans, not many people expected the USMNT to put on such a convincing performance. Specially after coming off a rather unconvincing win against Antigua. Guatemala and the US only needed a tie to both advance to the hexagonal stage. With that in mind, the US put on a masterful performance and ranked up a rather convincing 3-1 win.
The game got off to a rocky start with the US giving up a goal to former Philadelphia Union goalscorer Carlos Ruiz. Ruiz took advantage of some shoddy defending and poor goalkeeping to give Guatemala an early lead. The defending was horrendous with almost no communication and Tim Howard looked lost. Fortunately the US responded promptly by getting a goal in the 10 minute. Captain Carlos Bocanegra tapped in the goal off a Clint Dempsey deflection. Zusi took the corner kick that Dempsey headed and Bocanegra finished.
After the first goal the US really started to dominate play with only a few minor lapses.The midfield controlled the ball making quick consistence passes and picked apart Guatemala. The US held majority of the possession, and out shot Guatemala. A major positive was the distribution between the two CDMS playing along side each other. For the first time in a long time it looked as if Williams and Bradley were complementing one another. They distributed out wide and showed for each other when the other was trapped.
When the US went down they did not look flustered, or discouraged they rallied around the experience players and were able to regain control of the game. Dempsey scoring 2 goals and assist was clutch for the US. He had a rough game against Antigua but bounced back. This is the way US must play in the face of adversity. When they went down it was Clint Dempsey and Carlos Bocanegra were the ones who pulled them through.
Eddie Johnson staked his claim to be a regular in the US lineup. He had superb movement off the wing and played some great balls into the box. His passing was spot on and he showed he can take defenders on and beat them. It is great to see a player with that confidence in the squad. EJ did not score like he did on Friday but he did create opportunities and defiantly did enough to warrant a second call up.
A minor victory for the US is that now Joe Corona is officially cap tied and will represent the US for the rest of his career. Under Jurgen we have seen him cap tie Terrance Boyd, Fabian Johnson, Danny Williams, Jermaine Jones, but still has yet to get Timmy Chandler. Corona only played a few minutes and did not get a chance to show his skill.
Although this win was huge, the looming task at hand is going to be a daunting one. The US will advance to the Hexagonal stage where they will play 10 games against 5 opponents. The Hex consist of each team playing each other in a home and home. The top three teams of the group advance to the world cup.The US will have to play Mexico, Jamaica, Honduras, Panama, and Costa Rica.
Photo Credit: Reed Hoffmann/Associated Press –