Eddie Johnson of Sounders FC scored twice — including the winner in second-half injury time — to lead the U.S. team to a 2-1 victory over host Antigua & Barbuda in a World Cup qualifying match.
ST. JOHN’S, Antigua — Eddie Johnson rewarded his coach’s faith in him — twice.
In his first game back with the U.S. national team since 2010, the Sounders FC standout scored twice Friday night, including the winning goal in second-half injury time, lifting the United States to the verge of advancing in World Cup qualifying with a tense 2-1 victory over Antigua & Barbuda.
If the U.S. team beats or ties Guatemala on Tuesday in Kansas City, Kan., it is guaranteed of moving into the final round of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
The United States and Guatemala have 10 points each in Group A, and Jamaica, a 2-1 loser Friday in Guatemala City, has seven. A victory is worth three points and a draw is worth one.
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Johnson connected on headers in the 20th minute and in the dying moments of the match. He was added to the squad by coach Jurgen Klinsmann — who dropped Jozy Altidore because he was disappointed in his play — and the move paid off.
“It’s good to be back in the mix,” Johnson said. “Going into this game, the coach has a ton of confidence in me to put me wide out on the wing. We have a world-class coach who played at the highest level. He knows the game.”
Johnson has 14 goals in 43 U.S. matches — including 10 in 10 World Cup qualifiers.
The United States had a 4-2 advantage in shots on goal on the wet field.