Klinsmann handed reprieve as USA ease to victory while Mexico progress


USA's 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification hopes were given a significant boost as they moved up to second in CONCACAF Group C with a 4-0 win over Guatemala in Columbus while Mexico are through to the final stage of qualifying after a fourth win on the trot.

Clint Dempsey settled USA fans' nerves on 12 minutes with a drilled effort into the bottom corner from the edge of the box at Mapfre Stadium.

Geoff Cameron provided a cushion with a well-taken header on 35 minutes before Graham Zusi - just 18 seconds into the second half - and Jozy Altidore (89th) wrapped up a comfortable win in the second half.

Under-fire USA coach Jurgen Klinsmann was a relieved man after they were beaten 2-0 in Guatemala last week, knowing a positive result was vital to their hopes of reaching the fifth 'Hexagonal' round of qualifying.

USA still trail Trinidad and Tobago in the group, after they beat St. Vincent and the Grenadines 6-0.

It took 36 minutes for the home side to break the deadlock, and they went into half-time just 1-0 up courtesy of Sheldon Bateau's strike, but the goals came freely in the second.

Joevin Jones, Kenwyne Jones, Kevin Molino and a three-minute Trevin Caesar brace sealed the rout as the Caribbean side look to book their first trip to a World Cup since their one and only qualifying success for Germany 2006.

Mexico booked their spot in the final round of qualifying thanks to a routine 2-0 win at home to Canada.

Five days on from their 3-0 victory in the reverse fixture in Canada, Mexico were largely untroubled at Estadio Azteca as they preserved their 100 per cent in Group A thanks to goals from captain Andres Guardado and Jesus Corona on Tuesday.

Guardado broke the deadlock with an 18th-minute spot-kick before Corona doubled the lead on the stroke of half-time to inspire Mexico to four wins from four games, a perfect run of results which has seen the Gold Cup champions score 10 goals without conceding.

With two fixtures remaining before the 'Hexagonal' round, Mexico - in the midst of a 17-match unbeaten streak - top the group with 12 points, eight more than Canada and El Salvador.

Canada are level on four points with Honduras, who defeated El Salvador 2-0.

Boniek Garcia's 54th-minute strike and Romell Quioto's injury-time effort keeps the door ajar for Honduras, with the three-time finalists hopeful of making a third-straight appearance at the finals.

Costa Rica remain in control of Group B after their 3-0 win over Jamaica, courtesy of goals from Celso Borges, Bryan Ruiz and Johan Venegas.

They are trailed by Panama, who have a three-point lead over third-placed Jamaica with two games to play, after their 1-0 win over Haiti.

Source Omnisport