U.S. team stands atop World Cup qualifiers

Date Published: 
1985-05-20
Source: 
St. Petersburg Independent
Page: 
8C

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TORRANCE, Calif. (AP)—The United States national soccer team has put itself in as good a position it could hope for in its quest to qualify for the World Cup tournament.

With a 1-0 victory over Trinidad & Tobago on Sunday, the United States stands atop the three-team qualifying group in the Confederation of North Central American and Caribbean Federation (CONCACAF) region.

Coupled with a 2-1 victory over Trinidad & Tobago Wednesday night in St. Louis, the United States has four points, two for each victory. Costa Rica, the third team in the pool and the Unites States' next opponent, has three points in two games, having posted a victory and a tie with Trinidad & Tobago, which has one point in four games and has been eliminated from competition.

The United States will next play two games against Costa Rica, the first Sunday in Costa Rica and the second May 31 at El Camino College.

All the United States has to do to advance to the next round of World Cup play is win one of the two games with Costa Rica.

All the United States needed Sunday was a goal by defender Paul Caligiuri early in the first half and the U.S. team held on for a victory.

Caliguiri, of Diamond Bar, Calif., headed the ball past Trinidad goalkeeper Michael Maurice off a cross from the right side from Perry Van Der Beck at 14:50 of the first half of the game played at El Camino College.

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After a roughly played first half, both teams failed to convert several scoring chances in the second half.

Hugo Perez, who plays for the San Diego Sockers of the Major Indoor Soccer League, failed to score on a penalty kick with 12 minutes. His shot sailed wide to the right.

Rick Davis of San Clemente, Calif., who plays for the MISL's St. Louis Steamers, had two breakaway chances to score in the second half, but was stopped by Maurice on one and shot wide on the other.

Trinidad & Tobago's best scoring opportunity came three minutes into the second half, but a header from in close by Craig Garnet was knocked wide by a diving Arnold Mausser, the U.S. goalie.

Trinidad forward Philbert Jones also had two good opportunities to score. After his header early in the second half went wide, Jones was stopped by Mausser when he stole an errant pass by defender Dan Canter and came in alone on the U.S. goal midway through the second half.

Trinidad & Tobago, which played aggressively in the early going, was called for 18 fouls to the United States' four and two of the players were given yellow cards.

The game was supposed to be played in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, but the Trinidad & Tobago national soccer federation sold its home game to the United States for a reported $40,000.