The USMNT had few issues with Panama in pursuit of a crucial three World Cup qualifying points. Tim Howard picked up the shutout in a game marked by a standout performance from Christian Pulisic. It was Pulisic opening the scoring in the 8th minute. He had the assist on Jozy Altidore’s goal in the 19th. Bobby Wood won a penalty for the USMNT, converted by Altidore in the 43rd. Wood finished off the scoring in the 63rd minute.
USMNT coach Bruce Arena used all three of his substitutions, taking off Pulisic in the 57th for Dax McCarty after several incidents of rough play. Altidore followed in the 71st with Clint Dempsey coming on. Arena’s final sub came in the 79th minute with Alejandro Bedoya coming on for Darlington Nagbe.
“I was very confident in this group,” Arena told ESPN following the game. “We have a good team. We’ve had a great year. We’ve come a long way from November, 2016 where we were 0-2 with a -5 goal differential. At 12 points with a +5 goal differential we’re well positioned hopefully to get the third spot.”
The focus for the USMNT now shifts to Tuesday’s game at Trinidad & Tobago (8pm ET – beIN Sport). As Arena said, the USMNT enters that final game of the World Cup qualifying campaign in 3rd-place with a sizable goal difference advantage.
In Friday’s other CONCACAF World Cup qualifier, Trinidad & Tobago lost 3-1 at Mexico after taking the lead when Shahdon Winchester scored in the 66th minute. Mexico equalized through Hirving Lozano in the 78th minute. Chicharito Hernandez put Mexico up for good in the 88th with Hector Herrera scoring directly from a free kick four minutes into stoppage time. The Costa Rica vs Honduras game was moved to Saturday due to weather. Honduras took the lead on the road when Eddie Hernandez scored in the 66th minute. Costa Rica’s Kendall Watson equalized five minutes into stoppage time to qualify Costa Rica for the 2018 World Cup.
— GAME REPORT —
Match: USMNT vs Panama
Date: Oct 6, 2017
Competition: 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying – Final Round
Venue: Orlando City Stadium; Orlando, Fla.
Kickoff: 7:30pm ET
Attendance: 25,303 (so)
Weather: 78 degrees; mostly cloudy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 3 1 4
PAN 0 0 0
USA – Christian Pulisic (Jozy Altidore) 8th minute
USA – Jozy Altidore (Christian Pulisic) 19
USA – Jozy Altidore (penalty) 43
USA – Bobby Wood (Paul Arriola) 63
USA: 1-Tim Howard; 2-DeAndre Yedlin, 3-Omar Gonzalez, 5-Matt Besler, 15-Jorge Villafana; 4-Michael Bradley (capt.); 21-Paul Arriola, 10-Christian Pulisic (13-Dax McCarty, 57), 6-Darlington Nagbe (11-Alejandro Bedoya, 79); 9-Bobby Wood, 17-Jozy Altidore (8-Clint Dempsey, 71)
Subs not used: 12-Brad Guzan, 22-Nick Rimando, 7-DaMarcus Beasley, 14-Tim Ream, 16-Benny Feilhaber, 18-Chris Wondolowski, 19-Graham Zusi, 20-Geoff Cameron, 23-Kellyn Acosta
Head coach: Bruce Arena
PAN: 1-Jaime Penedo; 2-Michael Murillo, 23-Felipe Baloy (4-Fidel Escobar, 46), 5-Román Torres, 6-Gabriel Gòmez; 19-Alberto Quintero, 8-Édgar Bárcenas (11-Armando Cooper, 26), 20-Aníbal Godoy, 17-Luis Ovalle; 9-Gabriel Torres, 7-Blas Pérez (22-Abdiel Arroyo, 60)
Subs not used: 12-José Calderón, 15-Érick Davis, 13-Adolfo Machado, 3-Juan Carlos Vargas, 10-Ricardo Buitrago, 16-José González, 21-Roberto Nurse, 18-Luis Tejada
Head coach: Hernán Darío Gómez
Stats Summary: USA / PAN
Shots: 15 / 9
Shots on Goal: 8 / 2
Saves: 2 / 4
Corner Kicks: 4 / 4
Fouls: 16 / 11
Offside: 1 / 3
PAN – Felipe Baloy (caution) 34th minute
PAN – Armando Cooper (caution) 42
PAN - Michael Murillo (caution) 48
Referee: Roberto García (MEX)
Assistant Referee 1: José Camargo (MEX)
Assistant Referee 2: Alberto Morín (MEX)
Fourth Official: Luis Santander (MEX)