Kansas City, KS (Sports Network) - The United States punched its ticket to the
next qualifying round for the 2014 World Cup, defeating Guatemala 3-1 at
Livestrong Sporting Park on Tuesday.
It was a rough start for the Americans as Guatemala took a shocking lead in
the fifth minute when Carlos Ruiz latched on to a long ball over the top,
rounded Tim Howard and slipped the opener into the back of the net.
Carlos Bocanegra exonerated the United States five minutes later by leveling
the score. Clint Dempsey flicked on a corner kick delivery at the near post
and the veteran defender was arriving at the top of the six-yard box to
redirect it past Ricardo Jerez.
Dempsey took control of the remainder of the first half, scoring in the 18th
and 36th minutes to give the U.S. a comfortable lead.
The go-ahead goal came off of a low cross from Eddie Johnson. The Seattle
Sounders striker built upon his two-goal performance against Antigua and
Barbuda on Friday by setting Dempsey up for an easy finish from close range.
Dempsey extended the lead nine minutes before the break by capping some fine
build-up play around the box. Michael Bradley worked a quick one-two with
Herculez Gomez, and the Roma midfielder chipped Jerez after the Guatemalan
'keeper came rushing off his line. The ball may have crossed the line on its
own, but Dempsey made sure by continuing his run and slotting home Bradley's
The United States continued to dictate play in the second half, staving off
any potential comeback from the Guatemalans to cruise to the top of the Group
1 table with 13 points through six games.
Jamaica also advanced to the final round of CONCACAF qualifying with a 4-1
defeat of Antigua and Barbuda. The Reggae Boys finish group play tied with
Guatemala on 10 points apiece, but Dane Richards' brace inside the final 13
minutes of Tuesday's match sees them through with a superior goal
In Group 3 action, Jerry Bengston and Carlo Costly scored hat tricks on
Tuesday to lift Honduras to a resounding 8-1 victory over Canada. Honduras
advances to the final round of CONCACAF qualifying where it will be joined by
Panama, which played to a 1-1 draw with Cuba.
The Sports Network