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Soccer-US dominate Honduras in 3-0 World Cup qualifying win, Canada beat El Salvador

Randy Mancini 4 Feb 3
Soccer: CONCACAF FIFA World Cup Qualifier-Honduras at USA
Feb 2, 2022; St. Paul, Minnesota, USA; United States forward Christian Pulisic (10) dribbles the ball while Honduras midfielder Alfredo Mejía (8) defends him during a CONCACAF FIFA World Cup Qualifier soccer match at Allianz Field. Mandatory Credit: Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports

February 3, 2022

(Reuters) -The United States hammered Honduras 3-0 on Wednesday for a much-needed three points in World Cup qualifying while group leaders Canada continued their unbeaten run with a 2-0 victory over El Salvador.

The United States had got off to a sluggish start in their 2-0 loss to Canada on Sunday but played with a sense of urgency from the outset to put Honduras on the back foot.

Weston McKennie perfectly timed his jump to head home the opener in the eighth minute on a frigid night in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Walker Zimmerman added a second before halftime, with the goal only confirmed after a lengthy VAR review.

Christian Pulisic, who has struggled in recent appearances, came off the bench to a huge ovation in the second half and scored minutes later to put the game out of reach.

“It was a great performance from the team today to get a really important three points,” Pulisic said.

“It was my job to come in and make a difference, and I’m glad I could do that.”

The United States are trying to reach the World Cup after missing out on Russia in 2018, while winless Honduras had already been eliminated coming into the match.

Canada made it 11 games unbeaten in the group with a win over El Salvador that put them within touching distance of their first World Cup appearance since 1986.

Atiba Hutchinson opened the scoring for Canada in the 66th minute before Jonathan David wrapped up the win in stoppage time.

Also on Wednesday, Costa Rica eliminated Jamaica with a 1-0 win, while a second-half penalty from Wolverhampton Wanderers striker Raul Jimenez was enough to give Mexico a 1-0 home win over Panama.

With three games to go in qualifying, Canada lead the eight-team CONCACAF group with 25 points, four ahead of the United States and Mexico.

The top three automatically qualify for Qatar 2022 with the fourth-placed side going into an international playoff.

(Reporting by Rory Carroll in Los Angeles and Dhruv Munjal in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)