El volante Eddie Johnson salvó con sus goles el mal juego de la selección de Estados Unidos -uno de ellos en el último minuto- para vencer al modesto conjunto de Antigua y Barbuda 2-1 en el Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.

La escuadra del director técnico alemán Jurgen Klinsmann sufrió demás, pero con su triunfo llegó en el Grupo 1 a 10 unidades, tres puntos más que Jamaica y Guatemala, amarrando de este manera prácticamente su calificación al hexagonal final.

EL JUEGO
Desde que el balón comenzó a rodar el conjunto de las barras y las estrellas se adueñó de él, por lo que se fue encima en busca del gol tempranero; sin embargo, el equipo se quedó sin ideas para poder hacerlo, luego del amontonamiento de gente del cuadro local en su zona defensiva.

Pero fue hasta el minuto 20 que por fin la escuadra estadounidense logró reflejar su dominio en el marcador al abrirlo por medio del volante Eddie Johnson, quien con un buen cabezazo logró vencer al portero James.

Sin embargo, la escuadra de Antigua sorprendió al cuadro estadounidense en un contragolpe al minuto 25 para conseguir el empate, luego de que Peter Bayers mandara buen pase a Dexter Blacktock, en donde el jugador del Nottingham Forest resolvió sin problema alguno.

Estados Unidos quedó pasmado con el gol en contra, pues no se pudo reponer, ya que a pesar de tener la redonda en los pies, la falta de profundidad se hizo presente, por lo que ambos conjuntos se fueron al descanso con la igualada a un gol.

Para la parte complementaria, el cuadro visitante siguió intentando recuperar su ventaja, pero sus futbolistas continuaron careciendo de ideas para poder organizar un arribo de peligro sobre el marco de Molvin James, pues tanto Dempsey como Gomez siguieron brillando por su ausencia.

El cuadro local, ante el poco futbol de los rivales, empezó a tomar confianza y los disparos de larga distancia fueron su mejor arma, por lo que en un par de ocasiones pusieron en aprietos al portero Howard.

Antigua y Barbuda estuvo a punto del gol de la voltereta al minuto 80, luego de que Quinton Griffith recibió un gran pase de George Dublin y sin pensarlo mandó fuerte disparo con la izquierda desde fuera del área que pasó muy cerca del poste enemigo.

Sin embargo, por fin Estados Unidos logró conseguir el tan anhelado gol (90'), y de nueva cuenta fue Eddie Johnson, quien con otro cabezazo desde elcentro del área colocó el balón cerca del poste derecho, por lo que el partido quedó sentenciado a su a favor.

ALINEACIONES
ANTIGUA Y BARBUDA Molvin James, Akeem Thomas, Marc Joseph, Josh Parker, Quinton Griffith, George Dublin, Troy Dublin, Dexter Blacktock, Tamorley Thomas, Randolph Burton y Peter Byers (Stephan Smith, 90').

ESTADOS UNIDOS Tim Howard, Geoff Cameron, Clarence Goodson, Carlos Bocanegra, Steve Cherundolo, Daniel Wiiliams (Jermaine Jones, 56'), Michael Bradley, Eddie Johnson, Graham Zusi (Sacha Kljestan, 79'), Herculez Gomez (Alan Gordon, 73') y Clint Dempsey.

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