USA edges closer with another shaky win

[USA-EL SALVADOR] For the second straight home qualifier, the USA made it hard on itself, falling behind in the half, but goals by Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore at the end of the first 45 minutes gave the Americans the goals they needed to beat El Salvador, 2-1, Saturday in Sandy, Utah.

The USA now heads to face Trinidad & Tobago, a 3-0 loser to Honduras, on Wednesday.

No U.S. player carrying a yellow card into the El Salvador game picked up a card, meaning the USA will have everyone available.

Oguchi Onyewu sat out the El Salvador game and his absence was felt as the U.S. backline looked shaky throughout the game.

Sloppy play on the ball allowed the Salvadorans far more of the ball than they should have had.

Altidore had a second goal in the second half controversially called off, while Salvadoran keeper Miguel Montes made a great save on a header by sub Jose Francisco Torres.

At the other end, Tim Howard had stretched to stop William Reyes moments earlier, making up for his failure to stop Cristian Castillo's header after the dangerous Rodolfo Zelaya cut out three U.S. defenders with his ball into the area.

The game ended with Howard's goal under siege, but the Salvadorans could not get the equalizer that would have jeopardized the U.S. hopes.

Sept. 5 in Sandy, Utah
USA 2 El Salvador 1. Goals: Dempsey 41, Altidore 45; Castillo 32.
USA -- Howard, Spector, Marshall, Bocanegra, Bornstein, Dempsey, Feilhaber (Beckerman, 80), Bradley, Donovan, Davies (Holden, 73), Altidore (Torres, 85).
El Salvador -- Montes, Marvin Gonzalez, Mardoqueo Gonzalez, Salazar, Umanzor, Flores (Reyes, 63), Alvarez (Romero, 50), Sanchez, Quintanilla (Corrales, 75), Castillo, Zelaya.
Yellow Cards: El Salvador -- Hernandez 0 Zelaya 80.
Referee: Jose Pineda (Honduras).
Att.: 19,066

Stats:
USA / SLV
Shots: 13/11
Shots on Goal: 6/5
Saves: 4/3
Corner Kicks: 4/3
Fouls: 15/14
Offsides: 2/3
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