Zack Steffen featured in goal as the United States moved to the brink of qualification for the 2022 World Cup finals with a 5-1 victory over Panama in Orlando.

A hat-trick by Chelsea forward Christian Pulisic helped drive Gregg Berhalter’s side to a convincing triumph in Florida in their latest CONCACAF qualifying assignment.

The result means that, barring a heavy defeat to Costa Rica in the United States’ final qualifier on Wednesday, they are all but certain to feature at this winter’s showpiece.

With 25 points and sitting in second in CONCACAF’S final qualifying table, the States would need to suffer a six-goal defeat at Costa Rica on Wednesday to be denied automatic qualification and sent to a play-off with the winners of the Oceania group.

For City keeper Steffen it proved a relatively quiet night against the central American opposition.


The majority of the action took place at the opposite end of the pitch as Pulisic scored his first international hat trick with the national team, including a brace from the penalty spot.

Additional goals from Paul Arriola and Jesus Ferreira ensured that the Americans cruised to victory.

The only blemish on their and Steffen’s night’s work was an 86th minute consolation strike from Panama’s Anibal Godoy four minutes from time.