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USA stretch 2010 football WC lead with win over Trinidad and Tobago

SoccerNews in World Cup 11 Sep 2008

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The United States remained unbeaten in the semi-final phase of regional qualifying for the 2010 World Cup Wednesday with a 3-0 victory over Trinidad and Tobago.

With goals from Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey and Brian Ching, the United States took their points total to nine, stretching their lead atop Group 1 to five points over Trinidad.

Guatemala and Cuba were playing later Wednesday in the group.

The United States, who have already beaten Guatemala and Cuba, got off to a quick start.

Bradley struck first, firing home a free kick lofted from the left by Landon Donovan in the ninth minute.

Nine minutes later, Dempsey made it 2-0 with a powerful right-footed shot into the left side of the net.

Ching added a header in the 57th to round off the scoring for the United States, who virtually guaranteed they will advance to the final “hexagonal” round of qualifying.

The top two teams from each of three groups advance to the final phase. From there, three teams advance to the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa. The fourth-placed finisher plays off with a team from South America for a berth.

In Group 3 on Wednesday, Costa Rica claimed their third win in as many matches with a 3-1 victory over Haiti in Port-au-Prince.

El Salvador stayed in touch with the Group 3 leaders with a 2-0 victory over Surinam in Paramaribo.

Shawn Martin opened the scoring for El Salvador in the opening minute, and Marlon Felter's own goal spelled the end for the hosts as the 2-0 score stood through the final whistle.

In other matches Wednesday, Mexico looked to stay perfect in Group 2 as they hosted Canada, and Honduras, lying second in Group 2, hosted Jamaica.

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