For the sixth straight time the United States will be playing in the World Cup Finals. There were some dramatic moments in their 3-2 victory at Honduras, but the US came out on top, making their game against Costa Rica on Wednesday irrelevant.
The US needed three goals and a late missed penalty kick to put away the pesky Hondurans. Striker Conor Casey picked a wonderful time to score his first two international goals when he found the back of the net in the 55th and 66th minutes. Casey simply out-muscled the Honduran goalkeeper on his first goal, a header from the six yard box. For his second, he was sent through on wonderful pass from Landon Donovan and he buried it in the corner.
Five minutes later, Donovan put the US ahead for good with a cracking free kick from the top of the box.
Late in the match, the Hondurans had a goal called back on a controversial offside call. It seemed to be a good call to me, but the announcer disagreed. Granted, I think I was watching a choppy internet feed with what may have been an amateur announcer. Either way, the goal didn’t count.
A few minutes later, Honduras was awarded a golden opportunity to tie match up when they were given a penalty kick following a hand ball inside the American box. Carlos Pavon, a legend in Honduran soccer, stepped up to take the kick but the ball sailed over the crossbar and the US escaped.
Looking ahead, the US will have the game against Costa Rica in Washington DC on Wednesday. They still have plenty of kinks to work out of their system before next summer, as evidenced by tonight’s first half. The Americans were without scoring threat, and my favorite player, Clint Dempsey. I’m not sure if this was due to injury, coach’s decision, or suspension. Again, terrible feed and amateur announcer didn’t really lead to much extra information.
Anyway, the important part in all this is that the United States will once again compete for the World Cup next year in South Africa. If things go according the pattern, this should be a good tournament for the Yanks. Well, I hope, anyway.
Filed under: Soccer Tagged: | Carlos Pavon, Conor Casey, Honduras, Landon Donovan, Soccer, South Africa, US Men's National Team, US Soccer, USA Soccer, World Cup 2010, World Cup 2010 Qualifying, World Cup Qualifying