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USA blowout Panama 4-0 in World Cup Qualifying

Dominant first half seals must-win for Yanks

Soccer: 2018 World Cup Qualifier-Panama at USA Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

With everything on the line for the U.S. Men’s National Team, Bruce Arena’s men delivered. Jozy Altidore and Christian Pulisic wreaked havoc in a dominant first half performance as the Americans defeated Panama in World Cup qualifying Friday night at a deafening Orlando City Stadium.

After a sharp opening, the USA surged ahead in the 8th minute. Off a Tim Howard goal kick Bobby Wood’s flick found Jozy Altidore, Altidore one-touched to Pulisic and the 19-year-old sprinted past Sounders center back Roman Torres before rounding former Galaxy keeper Jaime Penedo and passing the ball into the net from a tight angle.

The kid from Hershey was dominating the contest, and it was no surprise when he probed down the left flank and slid a low cross for Altidore to tap past Penedo.

The Americans put an exclamation point on a wide-open first half when Wood was hauled down in the box and Altidore slyly chipped a rabona up the middle to give the US a commanding lead.

The game slowed down a bit in the second half with Panama resigned to defeat and Bruce wisely subbing Pulisic out early, but there was enough time for Wood to cleverly turn in the box and pull a strike past Penedo to hand the US a 4-0 victory.