2018 World Cup Qualifying - CONCACAF, CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying - Hexagonal
  • Christian Pulisic (52', 62')

Christian Pulisic scores twice as U.S. defeats Trinidad & Tobago

Christian Pulisic scored twice as the United States defeated Trinidad & Tobago 2-0 in a crucial CONCACAF World Cup qualifier in Commerce City, Colorado on Thursday.

The in-form Borussia Dortmund midfielder scored in the 52nd and 62nd minutes to set the stage for the Americans' upcoming match at rival Mexico, who top the group table, on Sunday.

After a quiet opening few minutes, Clint Dempsey fired a warning shot in the 15th minute, receiving at the top of the box but shooting just high of the bar with a curled, left-footed shot.

John Brooks called T&T goalkeeper Jan Michael Williams into action with right-footed shot from just outside the box in the 25th minute, but Williams did well to get down and keep the ball out.

Jozy Altidore forced a save moments later after a fine move down the left found the burly forward making a late run into the box.

Pulisic found space down the left channel with just one defender to beat only to fire over the bar with his left foot on 27 minutes.

Kenwyne Jones nearly put the visitors in front on 33 minutes, beating Tim Howard to Khaleem Hyland's lofted ball into the area before firing his powerful header off the crossbar and back into play.

Williams made an impressive double save three minutes later, first defending a long drive from Jorge Villafana before denying Altidore's header from close range moments later.

Howard palmed away Hyland's low shot from outside of the box in the 42nd minute, showing quick reflexes to get down after seeing the ball late.

After the break, the United States finally found their opener seven minutes in. Darlington Nagbe's one-two with Dempsey played the Portland Timbers midfielder to the goal line, where he fed a pass out to DeAndre Yedlin who found a sliding Pulisic at the goalmouth to give the U.S. a 1-0 lead.

T&T looked to have an immediate equaliser when Nathan Lewis volleyed home a pinpoint cross from the right, but the goal was whistled for offsides.

Pulisic added his second of the match 10 minutes later -- the Dortmund teenager receiving a ball from Altidore down the right channel and squeezing his right-footed shot past Williams at the near post with only the keeper to beat.

Pulisic's brace saw him join Eric Wynalda and Jozy Altidore as the only Americans with multi-goal games against Trinidad & Tobago. Five of his seven career goals with the U.S. have come in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying.

The win gives Bruce Arena's side, who came into the night in fourth place, seven points from five matches, while last-placed T&T sit on three points.