COLUMBUS, Ohio, Sporting Alert — After suffering a shocking 2-0 defeat last week in Guatemala, the United States men’s soccer team will try to turn the tables at home in their CONCACAF FIFA World Cup 2018 qualifier on Tuesday night.
Heading into last week’s encounter, the Americans were sitting pretty in Group C, but the defeat on the road has left the many time World Cup qualifiers in desperate need of three points, after they slipped to third place in the qualifying group standings.
The surprising loss has also presented added pressure on USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann, who admits his team must beat Guatemala in the return fixture.
“Obviously, we came back not with the result we wanted in Guatemala,” Klinsmann told reporters on Monday during his news conference.
“It makes the situation very clear: We need to win this game.”
He added: “We analyze the mistakes that we did in Guatemala City, and hopefully correct them and play a really good game tomorrow night.”
Team USA heads into Tuesday’s battle undefeated in all 10 of the previous outings at Mapfre Stadium while the CONCACAF giants are yet to taste defeat against Guatemala at home.
Meanwhile, Group C leaders Trinidad and Tobago will look to press home its advantage in the home tie with St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
The Soca Warriors, who lead the standings with seven points, are favourites to slip past the visitors again, following the close 3-2 road win last week.
In Group B schedule, leaders Costa Rica will host Jamaica and second place Panama entertains Haiti.
After being held 1-1 at home in the last matchup, the Reggae Boyz, who have a positive record away from home, are confident about keeping that trend when they visit the Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica.
” I think our match in Kingston was a demonstration of modern football — pressing, closing the space, and when we have the ball we play good passes,” Reggae Boyz head coach Winfried Schaefer told the Jamaica Observer.
“It is clear that not all passes can go very good, but the team has confidence, and I have confidence, and I hope we have a good result tomorrow, too,” he added.
In the meantime, Group A CONCACAF FIFA World Cup 2018 qualifying encounters will see Mexico matching up against Canada at Azteca, while Honduras will play host to El Salvador.