After the USMNT won qualification for the World Cup by beating Honduras 3-2, Goal.com’s Shane Evans has the matches winners and losers.By Shane Evans
It was a huge win for the United States as it guaranteed them automatic qualification for the next summer’s World Cup. Two goals by Connor Casey were the difference in the match that many people thought he U.S. wouldn’t be able to win.
A shock start for Casey in this one was just the tip of the iceberg for the Colorado Rapids man. He was able to net a brilliant brace and won the free kick that led to the game-winning tally for the United States. It will certainly be the most memorable performance in his career with the national team, despite some of the turnovers he had early.
Another fantastic performance from Donovan in this one. An assist on Casey’s goal and a vital goal of his own to give the U.S. the two-goal cushion, Donovan is really making his case for Honda Player of the Year. All over the pitch, the Galaxy forward displayed the determination and drive to keep his team going even after they fell behind.
This comes with a bit of help from our man in the field, Noah Davis, but the Honduran support have been rampant all week and have really been behind their team, despite the political uncertainty in the country. The entire crowd at the San Pedro Sula were loud and boisterous for the entire match and really were behind their side when they were down late in the game.
The Honduras striker is supposed to be one of their hitman, one of their coolest customers, but when he was needed the most, he wasn’t able to come through. Not only did he miss numerous big chances late in the game, but he blew a penalty kick that could have tied things up and made life a lot easier on Honduras. Pavon did manage to score once however...though he was offside. He’ll be upset with himself following this performance.
The American full-back had his work cut out for him in this match as the majority of the Honduran attacks came down the left side, which obviously meant the rightback had a lot to do. Though he was effective on many occasions, the West Ham defender did get burned on a few occasions and could have seen chances comes as a result. The flanks on defense remain a problem for Bob Bradley and co.
San Pedro Turf
Following the rains that had hit the area hard all day, it was obvious that the field conditions would be a problem. In the first half particularly, things were extremely messy with players slipping every which way for the entire forty-five. Things improved a bit in the second, but you have to wonder how things could have improved if the turf was in better shape.
Shane Evans is an associate editor of Goal.com
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