USMNT steals critical 1-1 draw in Honduras thanks to Bobby Wood

Bruce Arena is the head coach of the USA National Football Team

After losing home games to Mexico in November and Costa Rica on Friday, the US needs at least a tie against Honduras to stay on track for the region's third and final automatic berth.

The U.S. MNT is 16-4-4 all-time vs. Honduras, 6-2-1 in World Cup Qualifying and 3-1-1 in road qualifiers. It's still a big match for both teams, but more so for Los Ticos, who look to build off of an impressive away win against USMNT last week. And in the 27th minute, Romell Quioto collected a through ball by unpressured playmaker Alexander Lopez in a narrow channel between Gonzalez and Zusi.

Bruce Arena makes seven changes to the team that faced Costa Rica on Friday, with midfielders Michael Bradley, Darlington Nagbe, Christian Pulisic and defender Graham Zusi as the four holdovers.

For all that, here we are again, drenched in sweat, nerves shattered, optimism battered after a close-run 1-1 draw with Honduras, a vitally necessary result if the USA are to have any control over their fate when the CONCACAF Hexagonal concludes next month.

Cameron, Ream, Johnson and Wood play in Europe, where club seasons started just a few weeks ago, and Arena said for the most part Europe-based players are not fully fit.

The goal came completely against the run of play with Americans down 1-0.

Jody Altidore will not play this game after picking a yellow card against Costa Rica that resulted of being suspended for a game. Now it just needs to win its next two matches, against Panama and Trinidad & Tobago in October, to clinch a World Cup berth. Just before the goal, Arena slapped his arms in disgust when Ream, who played for NY at Red Bull Arena in 2010-11, played the ball back to Howard rather than advance it upfield.

Despite the pressure being off Mexico, the rivalry element between both teams could produce a better game than one potentially envisioned. Honduras dominated the action and a goal in the 85th minute by Wood rescued the Americans. Tuesday's host nation remains in a scrap with the USA for the third spot, with Mexico (17 points) and Costa Rica (14) in commanding position to secure Russian Federation spots.

With a draw in this game, the Americans are now in complete control of their own World Cup destiny.

Mexico vs Costa Rica: The live streaming of CONCACAF leaders will be available on BeIN Sports Connect and Sling TV.

"I was thinking we might have an early vacation at the end of this year", he said.

The three teams that automatically qualify are determined by the Hexagonal, known colloquially as "The Hex", a round-robin tournament of six teams that serves as the final competition that CONCACAF teams must get through to make the World Cup.

Morris added: "I think it shows the mentality of our team, we knew that we had to get a result down here". There still would have been time to scramble toward that third automatic qualifying spot in CONCACAF, or at least to reach the last-chance playoff against Asia's fifth-best team.

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