Fulham’s Antonee Robinson scores crucial winner for the United States to see off El Salvador in World Cup qualifying… but they remain second in the table after Canada win
- The United States remain on course for Qatar 2022 after win over El Salvador
- Fulham defender Antonee Robinson settled the contest in the 52nd minute
- That put the US back on top of the CONCACAF group but only briefly
- Canada returned to top spot later on with a 2-0 victory over Honduras
- Third-place Mexico picked up a crucial come-from-behind win in Jamaica
The United States scraped a 1-0 win over El Salvador in their World Cup qualifier in Columbus, Ohio, on Thursday as freezing temperatures tested both teams.
U.S. defender Antonee Robinson broke the deadlock in the 52nd minute, driving the ball home from close range after forward Jesus Ferreira headed to him.
Robinson then launched a celebratory backflip to the delight of a roaring home crowd.
Antonee Robinson celebrates his winning goal for the United States with an acrobatic flip
The United States were made to work hard for their slender but important victory in Columbus
‘They made it difficult for us, they were aggressive,’ Robinson said. ‘We kept patient, we kept doing what was working.’
El Salvador, second bottom of the eight-team group, made a flurry of substitutions late in the second half but were unable to wrest back the momentum amid temperatures hovering around 31 degrees Fahrenheit (-0.56°C).
It was not the dominant performance the United States had hoped for ahead of Sunday’s match against Canada in Hamilton after Jamaica held them to a draw in their previous qualifier.
Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic (left) takes on the El Salvador defence during the qualifier
The win briefly took the US top of the CONCACAF group before Canada reclaimed first spot
That result gave the United States brief leadership of the CONCACAF qualifying group but Canada reclaimed top spot with a 2-0 win over Honduras.
Elsewhere, Mexico trailed 1-0 to Jamaica with less than 10 minutes left before Henry Martin and Alexis Vega scored from close range to snatch victory in Kingston.
Canada top the table on 19 points, one ahead of the United States, with Mexico third on 17 points.
The top three sides qualify automatically for the World Cup in Qatar, with the fourth-placed team, currently Panama on 14 points, going into an intercontinental playoff.
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