CONCACAF WCQ: United States 4-0 Guatemala

The United States defeated Guatemala 4-0 in 2018 CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying at the MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus. 

Clint Dempsey and Geoff Cameron both scored before halftime whilst Graham Zusi add a third shortly after the restart.

Jozy Altidore made it a comfortable win for the hosts with a goal a minute from full-time.

The United States climbed into second place in CONCACAF Group C and improved to 7-0-2 all-time in qualifiers played in Columbus. It has matches versus Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and group leaders Trinidad & Tobago left.

Guatemala remains on six points also with two matches remaining.

Rafael Morales tracked back shortly after kickoff to prevent Gyasi Zardes from giving the hosts an early lead.

But the United States, who had dominated the possession, found the breakthrough when Dempsey powered home in the 12th minute after Zardes freed the forward with his header.

Michael Bradley then had a chance to double the advantage but he chipped the ball well over the bar.

Cincotta recorded Guatemala’s lone shot of the half shortly after the hour mark, though his curled effort didn’t trouble Brad Guzan.

U.S. captain Bradley redeemed himself as his free-kick delivery found Cameron’s head on 35 minutes gone.

Bobby Wood should’ve put his team comfortably ahead before halftime but the 23-year-old, who thought he was offside in the build up, shanked his attempt wide of an open net.

Guatemala introduced Carlos Ruiz and Marco Pappa at the break, but Zusi made it 3-0 within 20 seconds of the restart when he latched onto a loose ball inside the box.

Pappa wowed fans in the first-leg with a nutmeg on Bradley, but could not work his magic flaring an ambitious shot well wide of the U.S. goal in the 49th minute.

And despite having little work to do – two shots on target either side of the halftime – Brad Guzan did well to get down to Jean Martinez’s shot as he looked for a consolation goal.

The United States found the back of the net five minutes from full-time through Ethan Finlay, but the second half substitute was flagged offside.

Though it was another substitute, Jozy Altidore, who added a fourth four minutes later sealing a pivotal win. 

United States starting XI: Guzan, Castillo, Cameron, Birnbaum, Yedlin, Bradley (c), Beckerman, Zusi (Pusilic 81’), Zardes (Finlay 71’), Dempsey, Wood (Altidore 66’).
Unused subs: Howard, Bingham, Gonzalez, Alvarado, Orozco, Nguyen, Diskerud, Pusilic, Bagbe, Wondolowski.
Bookings: Bradley.

Guatemala starting XI: Motta, Jiminez, Hernandez, Marquez, Tinoco (Martinez 74’), Conteras, Icute (Pappa 46’), Castrillo, Morales, Cincotta (Ruiz 46’), Saravia.
Unused subs: Jerez, J. Lopez, H. Lopez, Cardona, Arias, Rivas, Arriola, Guerra, Garcia.
Bookings: Jiminez.

Referee: Valdin Legister

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