The U.S. Men’s National Team began its road to Brazil 2014 with the win against Antigua & Barbuda at Raymond James Stadium in Florida. Playing Antigua, a clearly inferior team, the U.S. dominated the game from the very beginning and scored the first goal after only 7 minutes of play. Carlos Bocanegra’s goal came off the corner kick after Antigua’s goalkeeper failed to control the ball. Bocanegra pounced onto the loose ball and knocked it into the goal.
But Antigua held off for the next 36 minutes before conceding the second goal to the U.S. off the penalty kick. The penalty came in the 43th minute after Landon Donovan made an explosive run on the left flank and was chopped down by the Antiguan defender inside the box. Clint Dempsey stepped in and buried it right down the middle of the goal.
To our surprise, however, and despite the U.S. continued dominance, Antigua scored a goal in the 65th minute of the game, taking advantage of U.S. defensive mistake. All of a sudden tension permeated the field as the one goal advantage seemed now much too tenuous. Thus, the U.S. continued to press and finally in the 72nd minute of the game Hercules Gomez scored a third goal for the U.S. The U.S. restored its two goal advantage and everybody breathed a huge sigh of relief.
The score remained 3:1 for the remainder of the game, but the U.S. ended the game a bit flat. It seemed as if the U.S. run out of gas and Howard was forced to make a couple of saves in the last 10 – 15 minutes of the game. Still, as planned and expected, the U.S. collected three points. The U.S. plays Guatemala next this coming Tuesday.