Pepi leads US in a comeback win in Honduras
SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras. - The United States captured its first victory in the Final Round of Concacaf World Cup qualification for Qatar 2022 by rallying from a goal down to top Honduras 4-1 on Wednesday night at the Estadio Olimpico in San Pedro Sula.
The home side had an advantage in the 27th minute, when Brayan Moya got low to the ground and put his head onto a bouncing Diego Rodriguez cross that beat U.S. goalkeeper Matt Turner for the opening goal of the match in a first half dominated by Honduras.
The North Americans started the second half well, though, finding the leveler in the 48th minute. After Ricardo Pepi held off his man and found Christian Pulisic to start the break, the forward made a run into the box and received a pass. The best he could do was nudge it toward a teammate, but Antonee Robinson was there to hit the ball first time into the net.
In the 64th minute, Turner kept the score at 1-1, as the U.S. shot-stopper got down quickly to stop a point-blank header from Andy Najar from a set piece.
And the U.S. would get its first lead of the match in the 75th minute. The U.S. worked the ball wide to the right side of attack where DeAndre Yedlin sent in service for Pepi, who used his head to nod in his first senior national team goal.
Pepi again was active as the visitors extended the advantage in the 86th minute, leading a breakaway after picking off a pass and setting up Brenden Aaronson for a right-footed shot that found the roof of the net to make the score 3-1.
And in stoppage time, Sebastian Lletget added the fourth. Lopez saved an attempt from Pepi, but couldn’t control the rebound, and the LA Galaxy midfielder popped up at the back post to finish it off.
The U.S. now turns its attention to the October window when it will host Jamaica to kick off the month, while Honduras welcomes Costa Rica.