ORLANDO, Fla. — Christian Pulisic scored his first worldwide hat trick, main the US to the brink of returning to the World Cup with a 5-1 rout of Panama on Sunday evening.
Pulisic transformed two penalty kicks throughout a four-goal burst within the first half that additionally noticed Paul Arriola and Jesús Ferreira rating, then boosted the result in 5-0 on memorable aim with two sensible touches that evaded a pair of defenders.
With followers nonetheless fretting after the Individuals’ failure to succeed in the 2018 World Cup, the U.S. assumed a commanding place to qualify for the November event in Qatar.
Solely a lack of six or extra targets Wednesday evening within the qualifying finale at Costa Rica would trigger the Individuals to not end among the many high three nations in North and Central America and the Caribbean and declare an computerized berth.
Pulisic, a 23-year-old who final 12 months with Chelsea turned the primary American to play and win a Champions League remaining, elevated his complete to 21 worldwide targets, together with 12 in World Cup qualifying. He scored within the seventeenth minute and fourth minute of first-half stoppage time, each after fouls by Aníbal Godoy, enhancing to 6-for-6 on penalty kicks in his U.S. profession.
His Sixty fifth-minute aim was an beautiful end. After Luca de la Torre and Antonee Robinson twice exchanged passes, Robinson crossed. Along with his again to the aim, a spinning Pulisic took a contact along with his left leg, spun round Fidel Escobar, dummied the ball by way of his personal legs, poked the ball along with his proper foot by way of the legs of Andrés Andrade and slotted the ball over the left leg of sliding goalkeeper of Luis Mejía.
Pulisic’s solely earlier hat trick was within the Premier League for Chelsea towards Burnley in October 2019.
Godoy scored Panama’s aim within the 86th with a header from 11 Éric Davis’ free kick that beat Zack Steffen.
Canada has 28 factors and clinched its first berth since 1986 with a 4-0 win over Jamaica, the U.S. is second with 25 factors forward of Mexico on aim distinction and Costa Rica is fourth with 22 factors.
Whereas the U.S. has by no means gained at Costa Rica, aim distinction is the primary tiebreaker, and the Individuals are plus-13 to the Ticos’ plus-three. The U.S. additionally has the second tiebreaker of complete targets, 21 to 11.
Fourth place advances to a playoff in June towards the Oceania champion, doubtless New Zealand.
After reaching the World Cup for the primary time in 2018, Panama was eradicated.
The U.S. realized through the nationwide anthems that Costa Rica had gained 2-1 at El Salvador, denying the Individuals an opportunity to clinch towards Panama. The U.S. then scored 4 targets within the opening half of a qualifier for the primary time since a 5-2 win over Cuba in 1949.
Salvadoran referee Iván Barton awarded the primary penalty after checking with Mexican video assistant referee Marco Ortiz, and video confirmed Godoy had shoved Walker Zimmerman, his Nashville teammate, within the face.
Pulisic helped arrange the second aim within the twenty third minute, operating down an extended ball from Zimmerman and dishing to Antonee Robinson, who crossed. Arriola, all of 5-foot-6, outjumped the 5-foot-11 Davis for his ninth worldwide aim — simply the second aim on a header in his skilled profession.
Ferreira, who final weekend turned at 21 the second-youngest American to attain a hat trick in Main League Soccer, made it 3-0 within the twenty ninth minute with a 4-yard proper foot shot that beat goalkeeper Luis Mejía goalkeeper. Ferreira’s third worldwide aim capped a flowing buildup that concerned Shaq Moore (4 touches), Yunus Musah and Arriola (two touches every) and Luca de la Torre.
Moore was a late addition because the fourth-choice proper again after Sergiño Dest damage a thigh, DeAndre Yedlin was suspended for yellow-card accumuation and Reggie Cannon examined constructive for COVID-19.
Godoy’s second penalty was brought on by a comfortable shove of Miles Robinson. Ferreira initially grabbed the ball forward of each penalties however was faking each occasions and laughed as he handed the ball to Pulisic, the U.S. captain.
Luis Mejía dived left, and Pulisic went to the keeper’s higher proper with the primary kick. Mejía appropriately guessed left on the second, however Pulisic’s drive was too laborious and too near the submit for the keeper to succeed in. After his second aim, Pulisic celebrated with a pair of pushups.