US back on track

by

March 30, 2016
United States' Clint Dempsey (right) celebrates his goal against Guatemala with teammate Kyle Beckerman during the first half of a World Cup qualifying match in Columbus, Ohio last night.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP):

American football fans fretted for four days: If the United States lost to Guatemala once again, the US would have little chance to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

Their worries quickly vanished last night.

Clint Dempsey scored 12 minutes in, Geoff Cameron, Graham Zusi and Jozy Altidore added goals and the US routed Guatemala 4-0 to get back on track.

"I thought we showed a lot of heart," Dempsey said. "We showed a lot of character by dealing with a pressure situation."

Following a dismal 2-0 loss at Guatemala City last Friday night in which Jurgen Klinsmann deployed several players out of their most comfortable positions, the US coach made five line-up changes and shifted two others into their more usual spots.

"Columbus has bailed us out on several occasions," US captain Michael Bradley said.

Cameron doubled the lead in the 35th and Zusi, added to the roster on Sunday, made it 3-0 just 18 seconds into the second half. Jozy Altidore capped the scoring in the 89th.

Trinidad and Tobago (3-0-1) won 6-0 at home against St Vincent and the Grenadines and lead Group C with 10 points, three ahead of the US. Guatemala have six points, and St Vincent (0-4) have been eliminated.

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