Eddie Johnson kept up his incredible run of goals when he scored in the 30th minute, Eddie Lewis boosted the lead early in the second half...
PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad — Eddie Johnson kept up his incredible run of goals when he scored in the 30th minute, Eddie Lewis boosted the lead early in the second half and the United States beat Trinidad and Tobago 2-1 yesterday in the opener of the final round of World Cup qualifying.
Kasey Keller, who made a 23-hour trip from Germany on Monday to get to the game, made a sliding save on Leslie Fitzpatrick on a breakaway eight minutes into the second half that denied a tying goal. Keller, from Lacey, also made several fine stops in the first half on Stern John and Dwight Yorke, playing his first official game for T&T since June 2001.
Less than three weeks ago, the Americans didn’t even know if they would have their top players or would send a team of minor-leaguers because of a labor dispute. But an interim settlement ensured the regulars would be on the field through 2005, and the U.S. team imposed its will on Trinidad and Tobago until tiring in the final minutes. Angus Eve scored in the 89th minute on a cross that went in off Keller’s hand
“It’s massive,” Keller said, “especially with all the drama that’s gone on around the team. The guys came together and got a great victory.”
Johnson has six goals in just four international appearances
In other World Cup qualifiers, Guatemala and Panama played to a scoreless tie in Panama City, and Mexico won 2-1 at Costa Rica.
• In World Cup qualifiers, Spain and Greece had much-needed wins to keep their hopes of making the finals alive. Greece beat Denmark 2-1 and Spain defeated San Marino 5-0. Ukraine beat Albania 2-0 and is unbeaten in its group.
• Hernan Crespo marked his return to Argentina’s team with two goals in a 2-2 exhibition tie with Germany. Sweden held France to a 1-1 tie and neither England nor the Dutch could score in their friendly.
• Manchester police are investigating threats against Malcolm Glazer and the Manchester United board by a fan group opposing the bid by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers owner to take over the team.