The US entered the penultimate round of World Cup qualifiers hoping to get nine out of nine points, regardless of the weather conditions or the number of players on the list who have not played in three months. They took the first necessary steps in that search against El Salvador on a 32 degree night in Columbus. While the Americans were dominant and El Salvador could not do much more than hope to slow down the home team, a second-half goal by Antonee Robinson would be the difference in a 1-0 victory.
The series somehow did not include Brooks Lennon, as the U.S. was lined up in its now-famous 4-3-3 with Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie, Tyler Adams and Sergino Dest playing together for the first time ever.
Hugo Perez set up a 4-3-3 formation that shifted to a 4-4-2 when he defended.
In the end, the USA again made the necessary adjustments at half time after going 0-0 at halftime. Still, the Americans in the first half created two very good chances with which the goal scorer Jesus Ferreira should have done better. El Salvador was not a kind of push, but they still managed only six shots and did not have one on goal, while most of their night was spent trying to subdue the American attack and make small mistakes to try to disrupt match.
GIFs of guys who are cold
Maybe because they tried to stay warm, both teams started the game with a lot of energy. El Salvador even pushed the U.S. back into their defensive third for a few moments in the early start. It did not last really long.
After about a quarter of an hour, the best early chance for the USA came when a switch Antonee Robinson got just inside the 18-meter box, he played the ball to Jesus Ferreira and the goal scorer took a shot from the volley what about the bar.
He would get another chance when Tim Weah headed a ball into the path of the American goal scorer that should have been the first goal of the game.
Since they were in qualifying in the first game, El Salvador was un intimidated by the Americans. Going forward, seizing their chances and staying defensively organized, their courage was almost rewarded before the half-hour mark on a counter that was close to a goal.
El Salvador also made a lot of mistakes, Pulisic even fell in the box just before half time, but their overall approach was effective in keeping the US off the standings for the first 45 minutes.
The second half started with the USA looking for the goal again after a pointless first 45. It would only come after five minutes in the half when Jedi found himself exposed in the left side of the penalty area when a ball landed for him. and he made no mistake with his shot to put the Stars and Stripes ahead 1-0.
In the 64th minute, Christian Pulisic made way for Brenden Aaronson. The American no. 10 was decent, if not a lack of impact during his time on the field. Seven minutes later, Gyasi Zardes and Jordan Morris showed up for Ferreira and Weah.
Fortunately, the team managed to score that goal, because apart from some excellent shots by the potential new goal scorer Antonee Robinson, the team did not bother the El Salvador goalkeeper Mario Gonzalez. In the 89th minute, Kellyn Acosta showed up for Yunus Musah. After a brief breathless moment when Weston McKennie looked like he was landing funny just before injury time, the US saw the game and took all three points.