The U.S. Men’s National football Team last night drew 0-0 with Trinidad & Tobago in their second game of CONCACAF’s pre-final round qualifying for FIFA’s 2018 World Cup finals carded for Russia.
A near capacity crowd at the 25,000 Hasely Crawford Stadium venue were left largely unimpressed with the game which was virtually one of two halves with Trinidad and Tobago enjoying the greater possession in the first and the new-look USA the second.
With the draw, both national teams which won their opening-round matches last Friday, sit tied atop CONCACAF Qualifying Group C with four points each. Earlier Yesterday, Guatemala, 2-1 losers to Trinidad and Tobago, gained their first points of Semifinal Round Qualifying with a 4-0 away win at St. Vincent and the Grenadines to move into third with three points, St. Vincent, beaten 6-nil by the USA last Friday is last with zero.
Trinidad and Tobago next play the St Vincent and Grenadines March 25 in Arnos Vale with the return leg March 29 in Port-of-Spain.
The TT team meet Guatemala on September 2 in Port of Spain and the return against the USA in the US four days later.
The top two teams at the end of the home and away series advance to the CONCACAF final from which the first three teams will gain automatic qualification to the World Cup finals while the fourth-placed will have a playoff with an Asian qualifier to have another Cup finals bid.
High-level Security for last night’s match was evident throughout as there were armed helicopter patrols circling the venue before, after and during the match and an unmistakeable presence in and around the venue.
But the match itself needed a lift of excitement which was few and far between
Both teams came close to scoring.,
In the 29th minute Jozy Altidore made an excellent flowing move down the right flank and lofted a ball across, which a breaking Zardes missed getting a touch to by only fractions. In the second half the duo was at it again, with Altidore making a move on the right and floating a ball to the back post which Zardes headed off the bar in the 47th minute.
In the 78th minute, Jermaine Jones nearly buried a rocket from 30 yards out, but T&T goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams matched Jones’ effort with a great save, stretching out to the top corner and reaching it with a fingertip to clip it over the bar.
For Trinidad and Tobago captain Kenwyne Jones collected the ball with space, and after a nifty spin move, hit his effort just left of Tim Howard’s goal. That was in the 13th minute and in the 45th minute: Jones’ hard, driven free kick from 25 yards out made its way through traffic, but found its way to keeper Tim Howard who pounced on the ball with the final play of the first half.
In the 64th minute: After some possession around the area, Trinidad & Tobago’s Andre Boucaud hit a swerving ball for Joevin Jones on the right. Jones gained some pace in the box before hitting a well-struck effort that Howard did well to hang on to. But USA nearly made it when in the 78th After a strong buildup in possession, Michael Bradley laid a ball off for Jermaine Jones who saw his effort from 25 yards tipped off the cross bar by Jan Michael Williams.