The United States men's soccer team has won its first game in the final round of regional qualifying for the World Cup finals in Germany next year. The 2-1 victory Wednesday was in game against Trinidad and Tobago.
The Americans won on the road as Ed Johnson of Major League Soccer's FC Dallas opened the scoring on a header in the 30th minute. Eddie Lewis, who plays for Preston in the English League, gave the U.S. team a 2-0 lead in the 54th minute. Trinidad and Tobago's only goal came in the 88th minute from captain Angus Eve.
U.S. goalkeeper Kasey Keller says his team lost its concentration as players tired in the closing minutes. "The guys kind of faded a little bit," he said. "And that was a shame because I think we really did control the tempo for a majority of the game. As they started throwing a lot of players forward late in the game, we did not quite cope with it as well as we would like to. And that is something we will need to work on in the future. But we got a vital three points in the first away game in qualifying."
The other four teams in the group are Guatemala, Panama, Costa Rica and Mexico. Each team will play a total of 10 games in the final round of qualifying in the North and Central America and Caribbean region. The top three teams earn automatic berths in the World Cup. The fourth team will play an Asian team for the last slot in the 32-team World Cup finals.