U.S. get much-needed win over Guatemala; Mexico go four from four
Facing a must-win situation in the quest to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, the United States responded with a 4-0 victory over Guatemala on Tuesday night in Columbus, Ohio.
Clint Dempsey, Geoff Cameron, Graham Zusi and Jozy Altidore scored as the U.S. recovered from Friday's defeat to the same opponents in Guatemala City.
The Americans scored with their first shot of the game in the 12th minute. Cameron sent a deep ball in toward Gyasi Zardes at the top of the box, where Guatemala defenders Moises Hernendez and Rafael Morales collided and the ball fell off Zardes' shoulder for Dempsey to shoot home.
With Guatemala offering little in response after the early moments, Cameron doubled the U.S. advantage with a goal in the 35th minute as he headed in Michael Bradley's free kick.
The U.S. had two more glorious chances before half-time but couldn't add to their lead. However, those chances were forgotten immediately as the second half began as Zusi scored in the opening 18 seconds.
Late on, Columbus defender Rodrigo Saravia gave the ball straight to Dempsey, who fed Altidore to score the Americans' fourth.
The U.S. would have been in serious trouble to qualify from Group C had they not won, as leaders Trinidad and Tobago remained three points clear with a 6-0 win over Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
Sheldon Bateau scored the first half's only goal before the floodgates opened and Joevin Jones, Kenwyne Jones and Kevin Molino all scored and Trevin Caesar added a late brace.
In Tuesday's late match, Mexico defeated Canada 2-0 in the Estadio Azteca to make it four wins from four on the road to Russia 2018.
Andres Guardado opened the scoring from the penalty spot in the 17th minute, with Jesus "Tecatito" Corona sealing the victory in second half injury time.
Mexico dominated possession against a Canada side that resisted bravely, but offered little going forward and has now only scored once in 360 minutes of qualifying.
Meanwhile in San Pedro Sula, Honduras secured their first win of the qualifying campaign, defeating El Salvador 2-0.
Houston Dynamo's Boniek Garcia opened the scoring for the hosts in the 53rd minute, before Rommel Quioto made sure of the result in stoppage time.