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The U.S. Men's National Team went on the road to the hostile confines of Estadio Rommel Fernandez and earned a hard-fought 1-1 draw against host Panama thanks to Clint Dempsey's MNT-best 18th career World Cup Qualifying goal.
Now sitting fourth in the Hexagonal standings, the away point gives the U.S. four total after four of 10 Hex matchdays and sees the team securely in the race for CONCACAF's three automatic berths to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
An evenly played first half saw the U.S. strike first when Christian Pulisic put in the hard work to run down a Jermaine Jones long ball, strip one Panama centerback before evading the other to set up Dempsey for his 56th career goal and fourth in two games, having secured a hat trick against Honduras four days earlier thanks to a pair of Pulisic assists and one spectacular free kick. The goal puts Dempsey one short of Landon Donovan (57) for the all-time MNT goal scoring record.
Panama retaliated with a scrappy goal from Gabriel Gomez just minutes before the half-time whistle and while both sides hunted for a winner in the second half, strong defensive plays from Tim Howard, Tim Ream and Omar Gonzalez helped the U.S. see the game out and earn an important point on the road.
USA: 1-Tim Howard; 19-Graham Zusi, 3-Omar Gonzalez, 14-Tim Ream, 2-Jorge Villafaña; 10-Christian Pulisic, 4-Michael Bradley (capt.), 13-Jermaine Jones (23-Kellyn Acosta, 75), 15-Darlington Nagbe (11-Alejandro Bedoya, 69); 8-Clint Dempsey, 17-Jozy Altidore (9-Paul Arriola, 82)
Subs not used: 5-Matt Besler, 6-Dax McCarty, 7-DaMarcus Beasley, 12-David Bingham, 16-Sacha Kljestan, 18-Chris Wondolowski, 20-Geoff Cameron, 21-Walker Zimmerman, 22-Nick Rimando
PAN : 1-Jaime Penedo, 13-Adolfo Machado; 23-Felipe Baloy (capt.), 5-Roman Torres, 17-Luis Ovalle; 6-Gabriel Gomez (21-Amilcar Henriquez, 80), 20-Anibal Godoy, 11-Armando Cooper, 19-Alberto Quintero (8-Edgar Yoel Barcenas, 75); 9-Gabriel Torres (22-Abdiel Arroyo, 83), 18-Luis Tejeda
Subs not used: 12-Jose Calderon, 2-Michael Amir Murillo, 3-Jan Carlos Vargas, 4-Roderick Miller, 14-Miguel Camargo, 15-Eric Davis, 16-Josiel Nunez, 10-Alejandro Taylor
USA - Clint Dempsey (Christian Pulisic) 39th minute
PAN - Gabriel Gomez 43
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