Ferreira, Arriola Star for USMNT in World Cup Qualifier

3.27 jesus and paul

FRISCO, Texas - FC Dallas forwards Jesús Ferreira and Paul Arriola both found the back of the net in the U.S. Men's National Team's 5-1 victory over Panama in Concacaf World Cup qualifying Sunday evening.

U.S. captain Christian Pulisic scored the first of his three goals from the penalty spot before Arriola and Ferreira added a second and third before the half-hour mark. Arriola netted his first goal of World Cup qualifying in the 23rd minute when he slipped in between Panama's center backs and rose highest to meet Jedi Robinson's cross from the left.

"I was super happy with the goal and obviously to help the team win," Arriola said after the game. "As an attacking player, it's always important to try and make your mark and be productive in the final third...I know how valuable I am and how valuable I can be to this team. These guys I play with motivate me to the max and the guys who play my position push me to the limits and I appreciate that."

Ferreira added to the lead four minutes later when Arriola's falling shot fell kindly to the FCD Homegrown's feet inside the six-yard box for a tap in. It's Ferreira's first competitive USMNT goal and his third overall from eight caps.

“I think the chemistry between Paul, it shows,” Ferreira said. "We've been doing it before and once he came into Dallas it got even better. We practice the pressing all the time, so it made it easier to have someone that you can trust and that gets your back. I'm excited to share the field and I know every time we're there together we'll do a good job.”

The three points keep the U.S. in second place in the Concacaf qualifying table with one game remaining: away to Costa Rica on Wednesday, March 30. Gregg Berhalter's team enters with a three point advantage and +10 goal differential over Costa Rica and will qualify for the World Cup automatically if they avoid losing by six goals or more. The final World Cup draw which decides the Group Stage matches will take place Friday, April 1.

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