Dempsey grabs hat-trick as U.S. hammer
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[March 25, 2017]
Clint Dempsey scored a hat-trick as the United
States hammered Honduras 6-0 in California on Friday to get their 2018
World Cup qualifying campaign back on track.
The United States, who replaced coach Juergen Klinsmann with Bruce Arena
in November after losing their last two qualifiers, opened the scoring
through Sebastian Lletget after five minutes when he was on hand to tap
home after Christian Pulisic's shot squirmed past the goalkeeper.
United States forward Clint
Dempsey (8) is congratulated after scoring a hat trick against the
Honduras during the second half of the Men's World Cup Soccer Qualifier
at Avaya Stadium. The United States defeated Honduras 6-0. Mandatory
Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Honduras came back into the game but the home side doubled
their lead after 27 minutes when U.S. captain Michael Bradley
was afforded time and space to fire home a low drive from 25
Dempsey marked his return to the team after a year out with a
heart complaint by making it 3-0 five minutes later when he
volleyed home a deft pass from Pulisic, who made it 4-0 seconds
after half-time when he shot into the bottom corner.
Pulisic turned provider again three minutes later with a
perfectly weighted pass that Dempsey steered round the keeper
before firing into the empty net.
Dempsey got his hat-trick and his side's sixth goal in the 54th
minute when he curled a spectacular free kick into the far
corner of the net from 25 yards out.
The result takes the United States onto three points, equal with
Trinidad and Tobago and Honduras, and off the bottom of the
group on goal difference.
Mexico lead the table with seven points, one ahead of Costa Rica
and three more than Panama.
The top three teams in the group qualify automatically for
Russia while the fourth-placed side goes into a playoff with a
team from the Asian conference.
(Writing by Andrew Downie; Editing by Peter Rutherford)
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