USA and Mexico advance to the final stages of World Cup Qualifying 2

USA advance to final round of qualifying for the World Cup Finals

USA advance to final round of qualifying for the World Cup Finals

“Going into the final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying games, only the in-form and dominant Mexico side had secured their advancement. The remaining 5 available spots were up for grabs, with 10 teams in the running, fighting to secure one of the spots.

In the first of the do or die games, the USA played Guatemala, on home soil, needing only a draw to advance. US coach Jürgen Klinsmann promised that he’d play an attacking style and not go into the game seeking a draw. True to his word, Klinsmann sent out an aggressive attacking line-up complete with the trio of Clint Dempsey, Herculez Gomez and Eddie Johnson. But, in an absolute shock, that I’m sure sent shivers down the spine of American soccer fans, Guatemala got off to an early 1 goal lead when Carlos Ruiz opened the scoring after collecting a long ball from midfield, rounding US keeper Tim Howard and poking home.

The Yanks not flustered, didn’t take long to respond, first through captain Carlos Bocanegra and then Tottenham’s Clint Dempsey came up big, scoring twice to send the Americans on to a comfortable 3-1 win, finishing first in the group, securing a spot in the final qualifying round.

In the other group A game, Jamaica went into the game in third place behind the USA and Guatemala, with their destiny not quite in their hands. Guatemala needed only a draw to advance, however, their 3-1 loss to the US earlier in the evening, gave the Reggae boyz a glimmer of hope for advancement on goal difference. The Jamaicans duly obliged with a pair of Dane Richards goals late in a 4-1 win over Antigua and Barbuda proving enough to edge out Guatemala on goal difference and second in the group.

In the other big game of the night Canada went on the road to face Honduras knowing a win or a draw for Canada (10 points), would be enough to take the Canucks through to the final six-team round. While the Hondurans, on eight points, needed a win.

The Canucks went into the game with momentum on their side on the backs of their recent 3-0 win over whipping boys Cuba, but In front of a passionate, hostile and loud Honduran crowd, the desperate Hondurans ran riot over the lethargic Canadians.

The Canadians knew that going in, it wasn’t going to be an easy game. However, no one would have predicted this. The Canadians missed multiple chances and were punished for their ineffectiveness, being humiliated and trounced by Honduras, losing out 8-1.

Honduran strikers Jerry Bengston and Carlo Costly both scored hat-tricks, while the result dumps Canada out in embarrassing fashion as Honduras moves on to the final qualifying round, along with Panama, who drew Cuba 1-1 in Havana.

Costa Rica booked their place in the final round with a stunning 7-0 win over Guyana in San Jose, completing a harrowing revival after a tepid start to their semi-final campaign. Mexico, who qualified two rounds ago at a canter, finished with a simple 2-0 win over El Salvador in Torreon to keep up their 100 per cent record.

As a result of Tuesday night events, USA, Jamaica, Panama, Honduras and Costa Rica move on to join mighty Mexico in the final six-team round of CONCACAF qualifying for Brazil 2014.