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USMNT plays Honduras to 1-1 draw in World Cup Qualifying

SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras (Via U.S. Soccer) – The U.S. Men’s National Team earned an important point to remain in third place in the Hex standings through Bobby Wood’s 85th minute equalizer that delivered a hard-fought 1-1 draw in sweltering conditions vs. Honduras.

Despite some good moments in the opening 15 minutes, the U.S. went behind in the 27th when Romell Quioto wrapped his close-range effort off the far, left post and into the net for a 1-0 lead that the hosts would carry into the break.

In the second stanza, the U.S. began brightly again, knowing that a result was a must to keep their hands on the final automatic qualifying spot for the 2018 World Cup. Still chasing an equalizer at the 60 minute mark, U.S. MNT head coach Bruce Arena began to shuffle his deck, bringing on Paul Arriola, Geoff Cameron and Wood, all of whom contributed a needed boost of energy.

As the minutes ticked down and the game opened up, a foul on Pulisic in the center of the Honduras half set the stage for the USA’s dramatic late equalizer. Kellyn Acosta sent a beautiful free kick toward the upper left corner, only see it denied by an acrobatic save from Honduras goalkeeper Luis López. However, the rebound was hooked back toward the goal mouth by a sprawling Matt Besler and Jordan Morris helped it on with a crucial flicked header that landed on Wood’s chest and the Hawaiian-born striker made no mistake from close range to give the USA a crucial point and 1-1 draw with his 85th minute strike.

Next on the Schedule: The MNT concludes the Final Round of 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying next month with an imperative home match against Panama, Presented by Volpi Foods, on Oct. 6 at Orlando City Stadium in Orlando, Fla. (7 p.m. ET; ESPN and Univision Networks), before traveling to face Trinidad and Tobago (kickoff time and TV info will be available on ussoccer.com at a later date).

Goal Scoring Rundown:
HON – Romell Quioto (Alex Lopez), 27th minute: 
Alex Lopez played a long lead pass down the USA’s right flank for Quioto to chase. The ball evaded a last-ditch tackle by U.S. center back Omar Gonzalez and rolled to Quioto, who curled a shot from a wide angle around the well-positioned Brad Guzan and off the left post into the net. [WATCH]

USA – Bobby Wood (Jordan Morris), 85th minute: Pushing the game in the waning moments, the USA was awarded a free kick 27 yards from goal when Christian Pulisic suffered a hard foul. Kellyn Acosta stepped up to deliver a strong, curling effort that was destined for the upper right corner until López made a spectacular, one-handed, diving save. But the rebound was hooked back toward the right post by Besler, then headed on by Morris into the path of an unmarked Wood, who chested it down and tapped home with the outside of his right foot in one fluid move. [WATCH] FINAL

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
USA – Brad Guzan, 24th minute: Honduras attacked down the left sideline through Alberth Elis who was shadowed by Graham Zusi. The speedy Elis was able to escape and charged into the box but his low drive toward the bottom right corner was well held by Guzan.

HON – Luis López, 41st minute: Christian Pulisic carried the ball out of midfield into the final third before threading a pass to Jordan Morris at the top of the 18. Morris held the ball, drawing defenders to him before releasing Pulisic, who had continued his run, on goal but his snap shot from a wide angle was save by a sliding López.

USA – Brad Guzan, 44th minute: Honduras was awarded a free kick 25 yards from goal that was just off center to the right. Maynor Figueroa stepped up to blast a powerful drive toward the middle of goal, but Guzan was well positioned to punch the shot over the crossbar.

HON – Maynor Figueroa, 74h minute: After making its full complement of subs, the USA pushed the game and a deflected cross fell to Dempsey inside the box. He volleyed it across the face of goal, but Honduras captain Figueroa clear the ball behind the goal with Bobby Wood lurking dangerously behind him.

NOTES:

  • The U.S. MNT is 16-4-5 all-time vs. Honduras, 6-2-2 in World Cup Qualifying and 3-1-2 in road qualifiers.
  • Bruce Arena is 6-1-1 in eight all-time matches vs. Los Catrachos.
  • Bobby Wood’s 85th minute equalizer was his first goal of 2017, ninth of his international career and fifth in World Cup Qualifying.
  • Jordan Morris recorded his second career assist on Wood’s goal.
  • Bruce Arena made seven changes to the Starting XI that faced Costa Rica on Friday, with midfielders Michael Bradley, Darlington Nagbe, Christian Pulisic and defender Graham Zusi as the four holdovers.
  • With the start, Clint Dempsey moved past Landon Donovan and into sole possession of first on the MNT’s all-time World Cup Qualifying caps list with 41.
  • Graham Zusi made his team-leading 13th appearance of 2017, which is also his career high for caps in a calendar year.
  • The U.S. was without forward Jozy Altidore, who was serving a one-match suspension after receiving his second yellow card of 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying vs. Costa Rica.
  • Kellyn Acosta and DaMarcus Beasley picked up yellow cards, joining Paul Arriola, Alejandro Bedoya, Matt Besler, Michael Bradley Geoff Cameron and Clint Dempsey on caution watch heading into October’s qualifiers.
  • Brad Guzan made his sixth start of 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying. The veteran goalkeeper is 8-2-4 in 15 previous qualifiers and has gone 3-2-4 on the road, helping the MNT pick up points in seven of nine matches.
  • In order to get the gameday roster down to 23 players, defender Matt Hedges and midfielder Cristian Roldan did not dress for today’s match.

– U.S. Men’s National Team Match Report –

Match: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Honduras
Date: Sept. 5 , 2017
Competition: 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying – Final Round
Venue: Estadio Olímpico; San Pedro Sula, Honduras
Kickoff: 5:30 p.m. ET
Attendance: 30,000
Weather: 89 degrees; partly sunny

Scoring Summary: 1 2 F 
USA                          0 1 1
HON                          1 0 1

HON – Romell Quioto (Alex López)            27th minute
USA – Bobby Wood (Jordan Morris)           85

Lineups:
USA: 12-Brad Guzan; 19-Graham Zusi (20-Geoff Cameron, 63), 3-Omar González, 5-Matt Besler, 7-DaMarcus Beasley (21-Paul Arriola, 62); 16-Kellyn Acosta, 4-Michael Bradley (capt.); 10-Christian Pulisic, 8-Clint Dempsey, 6-Darlington Nagbe (9-Bobby Wood, 73); 17-Jordan Morris
Subs not used: 1-Tim Howard, 22-Nick Rimando, 2-Jorge Villafaña, 11-Alejandro Bedoya, 13-Dax McCarty, 14-Tim Ream, 15-Eric Lichaj, 18-Chris Wondolowski, 23-Fabian Johnson
Head coach: Bruce Arena

HON: 1-Luis López; 21-Brayan Beckeles, 4-Henry Figueroa, 3-Maynor Figueroa (capt.), 5-Ever Alvarado; 17-Alberth Elis, 8-Alfredo Mejía, 10-Alex López (13-Carlo Costly, 64), 20-Jorge Claros, 12-Romell Quioto (14-Oscar García, 66); 9-Antony Lozano (23-Johnny Palacios, 82)
Subs not used: 18-Ricardo Canales, 16-Carlos Lanza, 22-Donis Escober, 19-Carlos Sánchez, 7-Carlos Discua, 15-Sergio Peña, 11-Eddie Hernández, 6-Bryan Acosta, 2-Felix Crisanto
Head coach: Jorge Luis Pinto

Stats Summary: USA / HON
Shots: 9 / 11
Shots on Goal: 4 / 6
Saves: 5 / 3
Corner Kicks: 3 / 4
Fouls: 17 / 14
Offside: 1 / 2

Misconduct Summary:
HON – Jorge Claros (caution)                       17th minute
HON – Henry Figueroa (caution)                   23
USA – DaMarcus Beasley (caution)             36
USA – Kellyn Acosta (caution)                      61
HON – Henry Figueroa (caution)                  90+2
HON – Henry Figueroa (sent off)                  90+3

Officials: 
Referee: Joel Aguilar (SLV)
Assistant Referee 1: Juan Zumba (SLV)
Assistant Referee 2: William Torres (SLV)
Fourth Official: Mario Escobar (GUA)

Man of the Match: Kellyn Acosta