Christian Pulisic takes USA to the brink of World Cup

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Pulisic hat-trick takes USA to the brink of World Cup

Christian Pulisic scored a hat-trick to lead USA to a 5-1 win over Panama and put them on the brink of qualifying for this year’s world cup in Qatar.

Pulisic’s first international hat-trick moved the Americans closer to the first World Cup appearance since 2014. A goal apiece from Paul Arriola and Jesus Ferreira saw the Americans cruise to a lopsided result that eliminated Panama from contention for a place at Qatar.

The U.S. opened the scoring early from the penalty spot in the 15th minute. The Chelsea talisman and captain on the night confidently converted his spot-kick to open the floodgates.

The hosts doubled their advantage six minutes later. Antonee Robinson swung in a teasing ball from the left flank, and the 5-foot-6 Arriola expertly directed a glancing header into the far corner.

The game was over by the 27th minute when Jesus Ferreira took a loose ball inside the six-yard box and coolly smashed home the Americans’ third goal of the night.

Panama captain Godoy conceded a second penalty in the second minute of first-half stoppage time and Christian Pulisic added his second from the penalty spot before the teams headed into the dressing room.

Twenty minutes into the second half, Pulisic completed his hat-trick and extend the Americans’ lead to five. The U.S. No. 10 showed off some impressive close control to sit down a pair of Panama defenders before slotting past Luis Mejia.

Godoy scored a consolation goal for the visitors in the 86th minute when he met Eric Davis’ cross and headed beyond the reach of Zack Steffen.

With 25 points in the bag- six behind already qualified Canada– only a loss of six or more goals in Wednesday night’s finale at Costa Rica would cause the Americans not to get one of three automatic berths from North and Central America and the Caribbean.

They can finish no worse than fourth which still earns a June playoff, likely against New Zealand.

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