The United States needed a big game to erase their slow start in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying. And boy did they get it.
The United States scored three unanswered goals in the first half, piled on a couple more right after halftime and never looked back.
Sebastian Lletget got the USMNT on the scoresheet early with a simple tap in finish in the 5th minute. Jozy Altidore and Christian Pulisic played a nifty combination to free up the Dortmund youngster whose initial shot was partially blocked by Honduran keeper Donis Escober. However Lletget’s run to the back post was rewarded with a simple but tight-angled finish to put the US up 1-0.
Sadly, Lletget’s day would end about ten minutes later, when he was forced off the field win an injury suffered in a 15th minute challenge by Ever Alvarado that also saw the first caution of the day. Lletget’s first international goal would have to be enough for the Bay Area native as he day ended early with Alejandro Bedoya subbing on for him in the first half.
Michael Bradley doubled the US lead in the 27th minute with a solo effort across the top of the Honduras penalty area before unleashing a left-footed strike from distance into Escober’s far corner. Five minutes later, Pulisic played in Clint Dempsey who held off a defender and powered a shot into the top corner for a 3-0 lead in the 32nd minute.
Honduras would have to make an early sub of their own, with Romell Quioto of the Houston Dynamo exited in the 40th minute with a shoulder injury. He was replaced by Erick Andino whose presence was immediately felt as Honduras closed the first half with three chances including a wide open shot on the penalty spot fired right at Tim Howard and another tipped wide by John Brooks.
But right after the halftime whistle, it was all the US again. 15 seconds in Clint Dempsey forced a turnover and Jozy Altidore recovered and played Pulisic in to slot home and a 4-0 lead in the 46th minute. Three minutes later Jozy and Pulisic combined again to play Dempsey in again for his second of the match. In the 54th minute, Pulisic was tripped up by Maynor Figeroua and Dempesy fired the ensuing free kick directly in for a 6-0 lead.
#GOLAZO on the free kick by @clint_dempsey!!!!! DEUCE HAT TRICK in his 1st game back with the #USMNT, who lead 6-0!!!! #USAvHON #DeuceIsBack pic.twitter.com/kqzDwVApBa— Jason Foster (@JogaBonitoUSA) March 25, 2017
Honduras facing impossible odds still tried to mount an attack, earning a few free kick chances and corners in the second half. Boniek Garcia’s stoppage time free kick produced a fine save from Tim Howard, who totaled four saves on the night.
The only late scare the US would get would be from defender John Brooks, who was subbed out in the 70th minute after a dizzying spell behind the play. US Soccer clarified near the end of the match that it was not a serious injury and that Brooks was simply dehydrated.
The win bolsters the US up to fourth in The Hex after starting the day in the sixth and last place in the standings. Thanks to the massive win, the USA now has a +1 goal difference and lead on that tiebreaker despite being tied on points with Trinidad and Honduras.
The United States will face Panama on Tuesday, March 28 in Panama City while Honduras will travel to Estadio Azteca to face Mexico.