Mexico and United States got the latest stage of their World Cup qualifying campaigns off to a winning start, with both of the confederation's big guns recording 3-1 home victories.
Minnows Antigua and Barbuda, ranked 105th in FIFA's World Rankings, travelled to Florida on Friday and found themselves behind after only eight minutes when Carlos Bocanegra tapped into the net for the United States when goalkeeper Molvin James had fumbled the ball.
The lead was doubled just before the interval when Clint Dempsey converted from the penalty spot after Marvin McCoy had fouled Landon Donovan.
Jurgen Klinsmann's side could have faced a jittery last quarter of the match when Peter Byers pulled a goal back on 65 minutes but Herculez Gomez soon put the result beyond doubt in what was an unconvincing win.
"The guys know they can step it up and they will step it up," Klinsmann said. "There's not the expectation just to kind of over-run Antigua or whatever country maybe that looks kind of weak on a piece of paper. They came here. They played the game - not of their life, but for them it's big time.
"They gave everything they had. It's important the players understand what they did okay and what was not so okay. They're going to hear that from me."
In the other game in Group 1, Jamaica beat Guatemala 2-1. Demar Phillips and Ryan Johnson scored either side of the interval to put the home side in control in Kingston. Dwight Pezzarossi pulled a goal back two minutes into stoppage time but it was too little, too late.
Mexico had little trouble securing the three points against Guyana at the Estadio Azteca, winning 3-1.
Carlos Salcido scored the first when he volleyed home from the edge of the D, and it was two inside 15 minutes when Giovani Dos Santos found the bottom corner from 18 yards out.
Any hopes of a way back into the game for Guyana were over six minutes after the break when John Rodriguez put a cross into his own net after Javier Hernandez had missed the ball. Hector Moreno also scored an own goal when he deflected a cross past his goalkeeper to give the visitors a consolation.
El Salvador fought back to claim what could prove to be a crucial 2-2 draw against Costa Rica in San Jose. The 2002 and 2006 finalists raced in front through Alvaro Saborio and Arsenal's Joel Campbell. But goals from Isidro Gutierrez (23) and Osael Romero (55) meant the spoils were shared in Group 2.
Honduras' chances of qualifying for a second successive World Cup are in serious trouble after they lost 2-0 at home to Panama at the Estadio Olimpico in San Pedro Sula. Two second half goals from Blas Perez put Panama in control of Group 3.
Ten-man Canada also secured an away victory, beating Cuba 1-0 in Havana. Olivier Occean scored the only goal of the only goal of the game in the 55th minute and though former Spurs goalkeeper Lars Hirschfeld was given his marching orders ten minutes later, Stephen Hart's side held on for the win.
The top two teams in each group go through to the final stage of Concacaf qualifying.