The World Cup in Brazil is still a year away, but qualifying is hot and heavy for the U.S. national team. On Tuesday night, in front of a sellout and often raucous crowd, the Americans defeated Honduras 1-0.
The win kept the U.S. in first place amongst the six countries trying to qualify in the CONCACAF group that represents teams from the Caribbean, Central America and North America.
The U.S. went into Tuesday’s match holding a two-point lead over both Costa Rica and Mexico. With the win, the U.S. kept its two-point lead over second place Costa Rica, which defeated Panama 2-0, and extended its lead to 5 points over idle Mexico.
Jozy Altidore scored the only goal of the night in the 73rd minute. The goal followed a brilliant set of passes that started with Captain Clint Dempsey on to Graham Zuis and to Fabian Johnson who passed the ball to a streaking Altidore, who put the ball in the far corner of the net beyond the reach of Noel Valladares the Honduras goalkeeper.
With the goal, Altidore tied a U.S. record for scoring at least one goal in four consecutive international matches.
Prior to the goal, Valladares had stymied the U.S. offense with brilliant saves on headers by Brian Evans and Dempsey.
With the win, the U.S. is now 4-1-1 and took all 9 points from the three matches played in June.
The U.S. is now unbeaten in 25 straight World Cup qualifiers at home, dating back to September 2011.
The U.S. will not play again in World Cup Qualifiers until September, when they travel to Costa Rica to face the Ticos on September 6 and then host rival Mexico on September 10.