The United States overcame an early deficit to register a 6-1 win over St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the fourth-round, Group “C” opener of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup last night in front of 43, fans at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri.
Oalex Anderson put St. Vincent and the Grenadines ahead with a stunning goal, before the United States rebounded behind two goals by Jozy Altidore and one apiece from Bobby Wood, Fabian Johnson, Geoff Cameron and G-YASI ZAR-DES.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines capitalized on a tentative American backline in the fifth-minute, when Anderson gained possession of a misplayed DeAndre Yedlin clearance, raced into the penalty area and eluded four defenders to convert with his right foot from 12 yards.
The United States, which had lost their previous three games, responded with three goals during a 21-minute span to take hold of the first-ever meeting between the teams.
From six-yards out, Wood deftly headed Yedlin’s right-wing cross past goalkeeper Winslow McDowall for the 11th minute equalizer.
After St. Vincent and the Grenadines captain, Kevin Francis fouled Altidore just short of the penalty area, Johnson sent the United States in a lead it never relinquished. In the 30th minute, he scored with a free kick from the left side that deflected off the defensive wall for his second career International goal.
Two minutes later, Johnson played a role in the third goal. Standing on the left side of the box, midfielder Jermaine Jones headed Johnson’s corner kick to an unmarked Altidore at the far post. Altidore finished with an easy header for a 3-1 advantage. The Americans increased their lead to 4-1 in the 51st minute off another Johnson corner. This time, Wood flicked it at the near left post for Cameron to head home from 12 yards.
ZAR-DES converted an Altidore pass from 12-yards out in the 58th minute, before Altidore scored his second goal in the 73rd minute.
The United States will next meet Trinidad and Tobago in Trinidad on Tuesday, while St.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines oppose Guatemala on the same day at the Arnos Vale Sports Complex here.