PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad - The United States moved within a win of its sixth straight World Cup appearance, beating Trinidad and Tobago, 1-0, last night on Ricardo Clark’s goal in the 62d minute.
The US failed to win its first three road qualifiers this year and played a listless first half. The Americans went ahead when Clint Dempsey played the ball wide to Landon Donovan, who cut the ball back to Clark.
Clark took a touch and let loose a bending 26-yard shot that swerved past goalkeeper Clayton Ince. It was just the second goal in 25 international appearances for the Houston Dynamo midfielder, who also scored against Paraguay in the Copa America two years ago.
“It’s huge. It’s huge. It gives a little bit of space when things are getting tight in our group,’’ Clark said. “We knew we had to come out in this game and get a win.’’
Donovan also assisted on both US goals in Saturday’s 2-1 win over El Salvador at Sandy, Utah. He holds American career records with 41 goals and 41 assists in 118 international appearances.
“He’s just a machine out there, man,’’ Clark said. “He’s just a big-time player doing big-time things.’’
The US (5-2-1) moved into first place in the final round of North and Central American and Caribbean qualifying with 16 points, two ahead of Honduras (4-2-1) and four in front of Mexico and Costa Rica (4-3).
The US could clinch when it plays at Honduras Oct. 14. The Americans close four days later at home against Costa Rica in Washington, D.C.
The top three teams qualify for the World Cup, and the No. 4 nation goes to a playoff against the fifth-place team in South America.