United States claim revenge on Jamaica
The United States moved back into a share of top spot in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying following a 1-0 win over Jamaica on Tuesday evening.
Herculez Gomez scored the winner from a second-half free kick to hand the United States a valuable three points. The United States joined Jamaica and Guatemala atop Group A with seven points after the victory.
After suffering a shock defeat to Jamaica in Kingston last Friday, United States coach Jurgen Klinsmann responded with several changes to his team. Captain Carlos Bocanegra, Steve Cherundolo, Danny Williams, Graham Zusi and Jose Torresall started, while Dempsey moved from midfield to forward.
Klinsmann's men dominated the first half, hitting the frame of the goal on three occasions in the opening 45 minutes as Jamaica's defence scrambled.
But the deadlock was broken when Dempsey was brought down by Rodolph Austin on the edge of the area. Gomez stepped up and fired home past the outstretched hand of Jamaica goalkeeper Dwayne Miller to give the home side the lead.
It was an advantage the United States would hold for the remainder of the match to put them in a strong position heading into their final two qualifiers against Antigua & Barbuda and Guatemala next month.
In Group A's other clash, Guatemala earned a 1-0 away win over Antigua & Barbuda. Carlos Ruiz netted the winner for the visitors after 25 minutes.
Mexico became the first team to progress to the final round of the CONCACAF Qualifying Zone thanks to a 1-0 home win over Costa Rica.
Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez scored the winning goal at the Estadio Azteca as Mexico secured top spot in Group B with two rounds remaining in the third stage.
Mexico were the better team throughout but had to rely on Hernandez, who headed home from a Jorge Torres-Nilo cross on the hour mark.
Mexico secured their place at the top of Group B with the win, with neither El Salvador - who beat Guyana 3-2 - or Costa Rica able to surpass them with two games remaining.
Canada were humbled by Panama, who cruised to a 2-0 victory in Panama City. Goals either side of the half-time break to Rolando Blackburn and Blas Perez respectively sealed the win for Panama, who were beaten by Canada in Toronto last Friday.
The win returns Panama to top spot in Group C, with Canada tied in second place with Honduras, who defeated Cuba 1-0.