U.S. moves closer to sixth straight World Cup berth
PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad — The United States moved within a win of its sixth straight World Cup appearance, beating Trinidad and Tobago 1-0 Wednesday night on Ricardo Clark’s goal in the 62nd minute.
The United States failed to win its first three road qualifiers this year and played a listless first half. The Americans went ahead when Clint Dempsey played the ball wide to Landon Donovan, who cut the ball back to Clark.
Clark took a touch and let loose a bending 26-yard shot that swerved past goalkeeper Clayton Ince. It was just the second goal in 25 international appearances for the Houston Dynamo midfielder, who also scored against Paraguay in the Copa America two years ago.
At the time Clark scored, U.S. coach Bob Bradley was getting ready to replace him with Stuart Holden. Bradley then decided to leave Clark in.
The United States (5-2-1) moved into first place in the final round of North and Central American and Caribbean qualifying with 16 points, two ahead of Honduras (4-2-1) and four in front of Mexico and Costa Rica (4-3).
Mexico hosted Honduras later Wednesday and Costa Rica was at El Salvador.
The U.S. could clinch when it plays at Honduras on Oct. 14. The Americans close four days later at home against Costa Rica in Washington, D.C.
The top three teams qualify for the World Cup, and the No. 4 nation goes to a playoff against the fifth-place team in South America.
Trinidad, which made its first World Cup appearance in 2006, was mathematically eliminated from qualifying for the 32-nation field in South Africa next year.
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