September 6, 2016
HEX IS NEXT
Altidore, Pulisic set records as U.S. shuts out Soca Warriors
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jozy Altidore set a U.S. World Cup qualifying record with his 15th and 16th goals, and Christian Pulisic became the youngest player to start in a qualifier for the team as the U.S. took a 4-0 win over Trinidad and Tobago before a 19,410 crowd at Everbank Stadium Tuesday night.
|Former Red Bulls striker Jozy Altidore struck twice in the second half to turn a close game into a rout.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
The U.S. (4-1-1, 13 points) overtook the Soca Warriors (3-1-2, 11 points) for first place in Group C, both teams qualifying for the hexagonal.
Pulisic, making his first start at 17 years, 353 days, was a dominant force on the left.
The U.S. went with Sacha Kljestan next to Michael Bradley in midfield, Kljestan scoring his second goal in two games.
The Soca Warriors threatened early as Seattle Sounders defender Joevin Jonesí drive from just outside the penalty area was grabbed by Tim Howard in the seventh minute.
The U.S. soon took control. In the 18th minute, Kljestan slammed a shot high from near the penalty spot off a throw-in. In the 25th minute, U.S. right back Geoff Cameron was taken down, the free kick awarded on the edge of the penalty area.
Pulisic was on the verge of scoring as he made a back post run and hit both posts with a left-footer off an Altidore cross in the 31st minute. The sequence began with a long throw-in, Altidore running into the right side of the penalty area and rolling a cross in front, Bobby Wood failing to connect with a sliding attempt, Pulisic left unmarked to fire toward an open net. Pulisicís shot ricocheted off the inside of the left post, then bounced off the right post and out.
Trinidad and Tobago relied on counterattacks, Jones finding space in the 41st minute and sending a left-footer wide left from just above the penalty arc. A minute later, Kevin Molino shot wide.
Kljestan capitalized on a failed clearance to poke in a left-footer, his sixth international goal, in the 44th minute. the sequence started on a throw-in, Fabian Johnson continuing into the penalty area, the Soca Warriors sending the clearance directly to Kljestan near the penalty spot.
In the 52nd minute, Altidore, a former Red Bull, turned for a point-blank shot that was saved. And the U.S. soon put the game away. Molino had a shot blocked in the 58th minute. A minute later, Altidore scored off a Fabian Johnson feed for a 2-0 advantage.
In the 63rd minute, Altidore finished at the back post off a Pulisic cross. In the 71st minute, Paul Arriola scored his second goal in two U.S. appearances, finishing a rebound on a sequence that began with a Pulisic takeaway and concluded after Pulisicís point-blank shot was saved.