United States pounds Trinidad and Tobago, advances to final round of qualifying

The United States came in to Tuesday night’s game with Trinidad and Tobago needing a win to claim first place in Group C on its way to CONCACAF’s final round of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup, better known as “the Hex.”

It was mission accomplished at EverBank Field in Jacksonville.

The United States broke through just before halftime for the game’s opening goal and poured it on after the break for a 4-0 win over the Soca Warriors, who also advance to the final round.

Sacha Kljestan opened the scoring late in the first half, finding the back of the net after a scramble near the penalty spot in the 44th minute:

Jozy Altidore doubled the lead in the 59th minute, shaking free of a defender with a nice touch just inside the box:

Four minutes later, Altidore doubled the lead. The goal was assisted by Christian Pulisic, who at the tender age of 17 and 353 days, became the youngest starter in men’s national team history.

Speaking of history, with 16 goals to his credit, Altidore is the United States’ all-time leading scorer in World Cup qualifying matches.

Paul Arriola capped the scoring with a rebound goal in the 72nd minute:

The first match in the Hex for the Americans will be on Nov. 11 against Mexico, and early reports, as well as tradition, suggest that it will be played in Columbus.

Trinidad and Tobago’s will host the winner of Group B (Costa Rica or Panama) on the same date.

About Randy Capps

South Carolina native, Fulham apologist, writer and sports fanatic.