USA vs Panama – Football Match Report – 27 March 2022

The United States men’s national team could not confirm their place at this winter’s World Cup after Costa Rica’s victory in El Salvador earlier in the day, but their 5-1 win over Panama in Orlando , in Florida, on Sunday night, brought her to the brink. qualification for Qatar 2022.

Christian Pulisic scored his first career hat-trick with the national team, and additional goals from Paul Arriola and Jesus Ferreira saw the Americans achieve a lopsided result that knocked Panama out of contention for a place in Qatar. With 25 points and second in the CONCACAF qualifying final draw, the USA would have to suffer a six-goal loss in Costa Rica on Wednesday to be denied automatic qualification and sent to the playoffs with winners Oceania.

Despite a mathematical possibility, at the end of the match, the American players unfurled a red and blue banner with “QUALIFIED” written in bold and white letters.

“We know we’re not there yet, despite what that banner might have said,” USA coach Gregg Berhalter said.

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USA were awarded a penalty in the 15th minute, when Walker Zimmerman and Anibal Godoy clashed in the Panamanian box. After a check with VAR, it was apparent that Godoy’s hands had hit Zimmerman’s face and, after the latter fell to the turf, Pulisic’s cross found Godoy’s arm. The Chelsea talisman and USA captain on the night confidently converted the kick that followed.

“I think because of the trip,” Berhalter said as he handed Pulisic the captain’s armband. “You have a guy who was there before. He was on the pitch when we didn’t qualify. And we were telling him, this is a new group, this is a new team and you are a leader.”

The hosts doubled their advantage six minutes later. Antonee Robinson swung a teasing ball from the left flank, and the 5ft 6in Arriola rose taller among a pair of Panamanian defenders to expertly head a staring header into the far corner.

The lead increased to 3-0 in the 27th minute. A series of rallies from Arriola, Luca de la Torre and Shaq Moore eventually led to a stray ball finding Ferreira’s feet inside the penalty area, and the FC Dallas striker coolly crushed the third Americans.

Panamanian captain Godoy conceded a second penalty in the second minute of first-half stoppage time. The Nashville SC midfielder was ruled to have hit Miles Robinson with an arm to the face, although contact between the pair as they jostled for position appeared minimal, and Pulisic added his second from the point of penalty before the teams head to the locker room.

Twenty minutes into the second half, Pulisic scored his hat trick and extended the Americans’ lead to five. The US No.10 showed impressive close control to bamboozle a pair of Panamanian defenders, bringing down a cross from De la Torre, before blasting past Luis Mejia.

Godoy pulled back a consolation goal for the visitors in the 86th minute, when he met Eric Davis’ cross and headed clear of Zack Steffen.

The USMNT will assume the Ticos in the Costa Rican capital of San Jose on Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET.

“We are honestly [will] approach it like any other game,” Pulisic said. “We will prepare exactly as we would if we needed a win.

“I really want to play in a World Cup and this team too.

“I’m just very happy that we’re able to be in a good position to do this and finish the job.”