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Watch: Pulisic dazzles with hat-trick as USMNT blow past Panama in World Cup qualifier

03:46 GMT+3 28/03/2022
Pulisic USMNT 2022
The Chelsea star netted three times as the U.S. moved closer to a spot in Qatar

Christian Pulisic netted a hat-trick against Panama on Sunday night with the U.S. men's national team star's third goal particularly stunning in the win.

Pulisic scored twice from the spot before netting the USMNT's fifth of the 5-1 win.

For his third finish, Pulisic showed a fantastic first-touch and a silky second, nutmegging a defender before scoring another vital goal for the U.S. as they inched closer to a spot at the World Cup.

Watch: Pulisic's three goals

What did Pulisic say?

“Obviously a huge result," the winger said after the match. "We needed the three points bad to put us in a really good spot to qualify and we’re really happy with the performance.

"It feels great to get a hat trick, of course, my first one with the national team, but more importantly just to help the team to win and put us in a good spot with one game left.

"Absolutely we can enjoy tonight, but the job’s not done yet. We have one more really important game and we’re taking it very seriously. We need to go in and get the job done.”

Captain America

Pulisic was handed the captain's armband on Sunday, as the U.S. has had a leadership committee rotate captain responsibilities throughout World Cup qualifying.

USMNT boss Gregg Berhalter said giving Pulisic the honors this game was intentional, as he wanted to highlight just how far the winger has come since he was part of the team that missed out on the World Cup four years ago.

"Anyone in the leadership group can be captain on game night and the coaching staff talked about it and decided on Christian, I think, because of the journey," Berhalter said.

"You have a guy that's been there before. He was on the field when we didn't qualify and and this was a saying to him that this is a new group, this is a new team and you're a leader.

"We want to show that and we want to highlight that. I think when I look at his performance, besides the three goals and the hat-trick, I think everything else was in line. Everything else was exactly what we needed him to do in terms of his workrate, his effort, his energy, his intensity, and his leadership."

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