Christian Pulisic rescued the United States with a pair of second-half goals, and the Americans beat Trinidad and Tobago 2-0 on Thursday night in Commerce City, Colo., to move into third place at the halfway point in the final round of World Cup qualifying.
Pulisic, an 18-year-old phenom from Hershey, Pennsylvania, ended a frustrating start for the U.S. offence with a goal in the 52nd minute, then added another in the 62nd. He has seven goals and five assists in 15 international appearances, including four goals and three assists in his last four contests.
After crashing to an 0-2 start in the hexagonal of the North and Central American and Caribbean region, the U.S. is back among the top three, which earn berths at next year’s tournament in Russia.
Mexico 3 Honduras 0
Oswaldo Alanis, Hirving Lozano and Raul Jimenez scored, and Mexico moved closer to a 2018 World Cup berth by defeating Honduras 3-0 Thursday night on the 55th birthday of El Tri coach Juan Carlos Osorio.
Alanis scored on a header off a corner kick in the 35th minute, his second international goal. Lozano doubled the lead in the 63rd and Jimenez rounded goalkeeper Donis Escobar to score the final goal in the 66th.
Mexico rested Javier Hernandez, Hector Moreno, Andres Guardado, Miguel Layun and Rafael Marquez ahead of Sunday’s home qualifier against the United States.
Seeking its seventh straight World Cup berth, Mexico has four wins and a draw for 13 points at the midpoint of the final round of the North and Central American and Caribbean region.
Mexican had not beaten Honduras in Azteca Stadium since September 2010. Honduras won in Mexico in 2014 and played a 0-0 draw last year.
After Sunday’s match, Mexico travels to Russia for the Confederations Cup, where it plays Portugal (June 18), New Zealand (June 21) and Russia (June 24) in the group stage.
Costa Rica 0 Panama 0
Costa Rica was held to a 0-0 tie at home by Panama, ending the Ticos’ 10-game home winning streak in qualifying.
Costa Rica defender Giancarlo Gonzalez was given a red card in the 54th minute.
Mexico leads with 13 points, followed by Costa Rica (eight), the U.S. (seven), Panama (six), Honduras (four) and Trinidad (three).
The fourth-place team advances to a playoff against Asia’s No. 5 nation.