Mexico cruises to easy win vs. Canada; Guatemala knocks off struggling U.S.
Mexico defeated Canada 3-0 on Friday in Vancouver and is on the brink of qualifying for the Hexagonal stage of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying for Russia 2018.
Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez opened the scoring in the 31st minute, with youngster Hirving Lozano increasing the lead in the 39th and Jesus Corona netting the third in the second half.
El Tri was vastly superior in front of almost 55,000 in BC Place and the result moves Mexico to nine points from its three games in Group A, while Canada is in second place on four points, ahead of El Salvador (two points) and Honduras (one point).
Mexico hadn't won a match in Canada since 1993, but started the brighter side and pressurized the home side into mistakes.
The United States slumped to a 2-0 defeat against Guatemala in its first World Cup qualifier of 2016.
The Americans' path toward the 2018 World Cup became considerably more difficult when coach Jurgen Klinsmann made some puzzling lineup choices and the American defense self-destructed Friday night in the loss to Guatemala in Guatemala City.
Edgar Castillo's poor back pass set up corner kicks that led to Rafael Morales' goal in the seventh minute. A goal kick by Paulo Motta went most of the length of the field in the 15th and Carlos Ruiz ran onto the ball, came in alone on goalkeeper Tim Howard and doubled the lead.
Seeking their eighth straight World Cup berth, the Americans had been unbeaten in 21 games against Guatemala since January 1988 and had never lost to Los Chapines in World Cup qualifying but now face a high-pressured rematch Tuesday in Columbus,
Also in Group C, Trinidad and Tobago had to rally to earn a hard-fought 3-2 win at St. Vincent and the Grenadines
The hosts took a shock lead on the stroke of half-time as Trinidad keeper Marvin Phillip brought down Durwin Ross in the box and Myron Samuel scored the resulting penalty.
Trinidad equalized in the 58th minute when Joevin Jones turned in a corner, and the visitors were ahead on 71 minutes when Levi Garcia cut inside to score.
But St. Vincent was not finished and levelled the score when Oalex Anderson was played through on goal and unselfishly played across for Shandel Samuel to score.
But their hope lasted just five minutes when Garcia scored his second goal in the 82nd minute to end an entertaining clash.
In the other three confederation qualifiers on Friday, Panama and Haiti played to a goalless draw.
Jamaica's Je-Vaughn Watson scored for the Reggae Boyz in the 16th minute, but Costa Rica made it 1-1 with a second-half goal from Johnny Acosta, as each team earned a point from the match in Independence Park.
El Salvador and Honduras also finished in a draw, with both teams scoring twice in a 2-2 final. Anthony Lozano had what looked to be the winner for the visitors, but Nelson Bonilla scored in the 88th minute to level things before full-time.