Sun, Mar 27, 2016 - Page 20 News List

US, Canada lose World Cup qualifiers

‘TOO MANY MISTAKES’:The disappointing result for the US means they will be in damage control mode when they host Guatemala in Columbus on Tuesday

AFP and Reuters

The US’ Clint Dempsey, left, and Guatamala’s Jean Marquez vie for the ball during their Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying match in Guatemala City on Friday.

Photo: AFP

Guatemala dealt a lackluster US a devastating 2-0 defeat in their 2018 World Cup qualifier on Friday in Guatemala City.

With goals in the first 15 minutes from Rafael Morales and Carlos Ruiz and an outstanding performance from goalkeeper Paulo Motta, Guatemala earned their first ever World Cup qualifying victory over the US and leapfrogged over Juergen Klinsmann’s men into second place in Group C in the fourth round of qualifying in North and Central America (CONCACAF).

Klinsmann had been bullish heading into the match — the first of two in five days against Guatemala — saying he was hoping for maximum points so the US could secure their spot in the final “hexagonal” phase of qualifying before turning their attention to the Copa America Centenario.

Instead the US will be in damage control mode when they host Guatemala in Columbus, Ohio, on Tuesday.

Guatemala got off to a dream start when Morales rose for a corner and nodded it off the back of Mix Diskerud and past US goalkeeper Tim Howard in the seventh minute.

Ruiz made it 2-0 in the 15th when a long goal-kick from Motta rolled untouched past the US defense, Ruiz racing onto it and beating Howard.

“For us it’s obviously disappointing,” said Klinsmann, who praised the play of Guatemala, but said the US made “too many mistakes.”

“On the international level you cannot make the mistakes that led into the two goals, you simply cannot allow that,” he said, adding that the near post was left unguarded on the corner that produced Morales’ goal.

“The second goal was a sequence of mistakes,” Klinsmann said, as a succession of US players failed to pick up the ball leading to Ruiz’s chance.

“That’s what Carlos Ruiz is famous for, he’s sniffing around, that’s what he’s done his whole career,” he said.

“The pitch was fast,” Ruiz said. “So one bounce, I think Omar [Gonzalez] didn’t see the bounce. I ran behind him and I was one-on-one with Tim Howard.”

After struggling throughout the first half to create clear chances, the visitors looked more dangerous early in the second.

However, Motta made half a dozen solid saves to keep the US at bay, including stopping an 81st-minute attempt by substitute Jozy Altidore.

“We said at halftime let’s turn this thing around,” Klinsmann said. “There were enough chances to win the game, but we didn’t put it in.”

The victory gave Guatemala six points from three matches, one behind Group C leaders Trinidad and Tobago, who battled back from a 1-0 halftime deficit for a 3-2 victory at lowly St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Levi Garcia’s two goals for Trinidad included the game-winner in the 82nd minute.

The US’ four points put them in third, ahead only of St Vincent and the Grenadines with none.

MEXICO DOMINATE

In Vancouver, Mexico defeated Canada 3-0 to post their third win in as many matches.

The dominant victory included goals from Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, Hirving Lozano and Jesus Corona.

Hernandez headed in the opener in the 32nd minute. Canadian ’keeper Milan Borjan came up with a number of saves to keep the hosts in the contest before Lozano delivered his first international goal in the 40th, taking the ball through Canada’s half and slotting home a shot.

Corona capped the scoring in the 72nd.

Mexico lead Group A with nine points, five more than second-placed Canada going into their next clash on Tuesday.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top