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CONCACAF World Cup qualifying wrap: US held, Mexico win

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 13 Jun 2012

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United States were held to a 1-1 draw by Guatemala in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying on Tuesday, while Mexico edged El Salvador.

Clint Dempsey netted for the second straight game for the US, but his first-half goal was cancelled out by Marco Pappa at Estadio Mateo Flores.

The US remain top of Group A despite the draw, while the point was Guatemala’s first in the third round of qualifying.

The opener came on 40 minutes, with Fabian Johnson finding Dempsey after making a run down the left.

The Fulham forward’s first touch took him around one sliding defender and his second evaded another before he unleashed a shot past Ricardo Jerez.

Guatemala were more competitive in the second half thanks to the introduction of Pappa, who looked dangerous immediately after coming on.

It took until the 83rd minute for Guatemala to find the equaliser as Carlos Ruiz drew a foul on the edge of the area.

Pappa stepped up to drill in the leveller from the free-kick, leaving goalkeeper Tim Howard with no chance.

Elsewhere, Hector Moreno’s 82nd-minute winner gave Mexico a hard-fought 2-1 win in El Salvador in Group B.

Moreno set up Jesus Zavala for the opener on the hour-mark, with the Monterrey midfielder curling his effort past Benji Villalobos.

El Salvador responded just five minutes later, as former New York Red Bulls full-back Alfredo Pacheco struck with a 25-yard free-kick.

The winner came courtesy of Moreno, who needed two headers to beat Villalobos and give his side an important win.

Mexico have six points from two matches in Group B, while El Salvador have just a draw from their opening two outings.

Panama moved to the top of Group C with a 1-0 win at home to Cuba as Nelson Barahona netted a 57th-minute winner.

An Alvaro Saborio hat-trick guided Costa Rica to a 4-0 thrashing of Guyana, with Joel Campbell also getting on the scoresheet.

Canada and Honduras played out a 0-0 draw in Group C, while Antigua and Barbuda drew 0-0 with Jamaica in Group A.

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