|United States||Trinidad & Tobago|
FIFA World Cup™ Qualifier
|2001-06-19||Foxboro Stadium||Foxboro, MA, United States||31211|
USA powers past T&T in 2-0 win in Boston
|Anyone who doubted that the United States might enter this match, a bit
overconfident, against the last place Soca Warriors of Trinidad and
Tobago, found out that the Americans wanted this match in order to
continue on their way to the 2002 World Cup. Brilliant goals from Ante
Razov and Earnie Stewart paved the way to a 2-0 victory over T&T.
The victory tonight gives the Americans a whopping 13 points half way
through the qualification process.|
A crisp United States team started off the 1st half of play with a sizzling goal from former Chicago Fire stalwart, Ante Razov. The goal score by Razov at the 1:13 minute mark of the first half was assisted on a fine long ball, out of the backline, by Jeff Agoos. Razov made a fine run out of the midfield and Agoos pass found Razov wide-open and he put the ball away on the first touch. After the match Razov commented that "my playing in Spain this past season has given me a lot of confidence to operate in tight spaces." Razov added that he "felt very comfortable on the ball" that was served to him for the goal.
The USA continued to press the attack, in the rest of the first half, through deft passing, great ball control, and making strong runs to get open. This sustained play resulted in Earnie Stewart's 6th goal of World Cup 2002 Qualification. T&T right back Marvin Andrews gave away the ball to Stewart some 35 yards from goal and Stewart walked in on goalkeeper Clayton Ince and netted the ball some fifteen yards from goal.
Though the Americans continued to dominate much of the rest of the first half of play, the Soca Warriors nearly scored twice in the final three minutes of play in the first half. Marvin Andrews just missed a point blank chance from twenty-five yards. The ball was pushed wide of the far post on a great hand save by Kasey Keller. The ensuing corner kick was nearly put-away by Dwight Yorke. The half ended with Dale Saunders just missing the mark from twenty-five yards. The Americans went into halftime with a 2-0 lead, the same score as the final result.
Though the Americans had numerous chances to score in the second half, as did T&T, it was the American defense that once again rose to the ocassion and preserved the shutout. Coach Arena, after the match, commented that "defensively this was an impressive performance, Armas (Chicago Fire) and everyone gave a pretty complete game." Man of the Match, Jeff Agoos, clearly was on his game and kept Manchester United striker Dwight Yorke off the scoresheet. In fact, Yorke had so little space in the American defense, that he was moved to midfield in the second half.
The Americans seem destined to qualify for World Cup 2002 and whoever Coach Arena inserts into the lineup, they seem to come up big. Tonight Ante Razov and Jovan Kirovski started at striker in place of Brian McBride and Joe Max Moore. Both Kirovski and Razov had good pace to their play and held the ball exceptionally well. Each player had a number of good chances to score throughout the match.
As Earnie Stewart put it, after the match, "we have 23 good players and any of them can play at any time." The Razov - Kirovski tandem, working so well, was no surprise to Coach Arena who commented that the duo "did well in the last two weeks of training and that each played well in Jamaica."
The 13 points amassed by the Americans, after 5 matches, is a stunning number of points. Typically, 15 or 16 points is enough to qualify for the World Cup. A confident Coach Arena, however, as well as many of the rest of the squad, said that the "job was not yet done."
The Americans next travel to Azteca Stadium in Mexico City for the July 1st match-up with the Tri-Colors. Though Azteca has been a difficult place in which to get a tie, let alone a victory, the Americans are very much looking forward to the away match. The one sore spot in the match this evening is that Claudio Reyna picked up his second yellow card in the Qualification Round and will not be able to play against Mexico.
The game against Mexico is a re-match of the opening qualifier in Columbus, Ohio where the United States defeated the Mexicans 2-0. The United States has never won a World Cup Qualifier in Mexico, so a victory in the capital city would be extra special. Speaking of streaks, the American victory over Trinidad and Tobago, tonight, means that the Americans have never lost to the Soca Warriors in World Cup Qualification. The victory in Boston also means that the U.S. is a perfect 6-0-3 at the Foxboro venue.
|4.||Marvin Andrews (capt.)|
|46' Avery John|
|11.||Brent Rahim 43 '|
|55' Arnold Dwarika|
|14.||Stern John 66 '|
|74' Mickey Trotman|
|46'||Avery John for Reynold Carrington|
|55'||Arnold Dwarika for Brent Rahim|
|74'||Mickey Trotman for Stern John|