World Cup qualifiers – USA vs Panama: The USMNT needed three points to stay clear of Costa Rica and level with Mexico on matchday 13. The team managed to take those three points in style.
The hosts were able to register a 5-1 win against Panama at the Exploria Stadium in Orlando. Chelsea wide-man, Christian Pulisic was the star of the show who bagged himself a hat-trick.
Paul Arriola and Jesús Ferreira got themselves a goal each in the first half as well. As for the visitors, Aníbal Godoy scored a consolation goal in the 86th minute. Thus, the contest concluded with a scoreline of 5-1.
World Cup qualifiers – USA vs Panama: Match report
Full-time score: USA 5-1 Panama
USA: Zack Steffen, Miles Robinson (65′ Aaron Long), Walker Zimmerman, Antonee Robinson, Shaq Moore, Tyler Adams (71′ Jordan Morris), Luca de la Torre, Yunus Musah (45′ Kellyn Acosta), Jesús Ferreira, Christian Pulisic (71′ Gianluca Busio), Paul Arriola (45′ Giovanni Reyna).
Scorers: Pulisic (17’, 45+4’, 65’), Paul Arriola 23’, Jesús Ferreira 27’.
Bookings: Christian Pulisic, Aaron Long.
Panama: Luis Mejía, Andrés Andrade, Fidel Escobar, Éric Davis, Michael Murillo, Alberto Quintero, Aníbal Godoy, Adalberto Carrasquilla (65′ Christian Martínez), Rolando Blackburn (45′ Gabriel Torres), Freddy Góndola (45′ José Luis Rodríguez), Édgar Bárcenas (45′ Víctor Medina).
Scorer: Aníbal Godoy 86’.
Booking: Éric Davis, Aníbal Godoy.
USA head coach, Gregg Berhalter: “We made a big step towards our goal of qualifying for the World Cup. We know we’re not there yet despite what that banner might have said.
“We know we still have a game to go and it’s a difficult game in Costa Rica so our job right now is to recover, do regeneration and then get healthy guys, fit guys, on the field and go compete in San Jose, where we’ve never won before.”
Panama head coach, Thomas Christiansen: “We are left at the gates but there are many positive things that we can take with us. This last disappointment has done a lot of damage and it will be difficult to recover. But luckily we have a game on Wednesday in front of our fans. And we want to show our faces and compete until the end”.