Eddie Johnson of Seattle Sounders FC scored both USA goals Friday night as the national team nipped Antigua and Barbuda, 2-1, in a World Cup qualifying match at rainy North Sound, Antigua.
Johnson’s winner came in the 90th minute, and it helped the USA avoid an upset at the hands of the last-place and most lightly regarded team in its group.
Johnson had put the Americans ahead in the 20th minute. However, the home side pulled even five minutes later on a goal by Dexter Blackstock.
Both of Johnson’s goals came on headers. The first was assisted by Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City), the second by Alan Gordon (San Jose Earthquakes). (Video of both goals and more on the match is available at blog.thenewstribune.com/soccer.)
The game marked Johnson’s first appearance for the national team since 2010, and the goals were his first in international competition since 2008. He has 14 international goals and 10 in World Cup qualifying. In MLS play, Johnson leads the Sounders with 14 goals.
The USA moved to 3-1-1 and is tied atop Group A with Guatemala, a 2-1 winner over Jamaica. The U.S. completes group play Tuesday, facing Guatemala in Kansas City, Kan.
The Sounders return to MLS action Wednesday, when Real Salt Lake visits CenturyLink Field. Johnson’s availability for that game is not yet known.
Don Ruiz: 253-597-8808 firstname.lastname@example.org