(Reuters) - The United States earned a crucial 4-0 win over Guatemala on Tuesday that saved their 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign and took some pressure off coach Jurgen Klinsmann.
After a dreadful 2-0 defeat to the same opponents on Friday, the United States would have been on the verge of elimination from qualifying with another defeat on Tuesday.
Reflecting the growing unease among fans, a plane flew over the stadium in Columbus, Ohio prior to the match with a banner reading: “#FIREKLINSMANN HE’S A TINY LITTLE BIT BEHIND.”
Clint Dempsey and Geoff Cameron scored first-half goals to settle United States’ nerves, before Graham Zusi and Jozy Altidore made it 4-0 after the break.
The win moved the United States onto seven points from four games, three behind leaders Trinidad and Tobago. Guatemala are third on six points with St Vincent propping up the group with four straight defeats.
The two remaining group games will be played in September.
Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Peter Rutherford