September 2, 2016
Ruiz's late goal lifts Guatemala to tie with T&T; USA needs at least draw with Soca Warriors to reach hex
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad -- Carlos Ruiz has always been a thorn in many a CONCACAF side, including the United States.
On Friday night, El Pescadito -- the Little Fish -- made life just a little more difficult for the Americans even when he did not play against them.
The former LA Galaxy striker scored his second goal of the match in the 87th minute to lift Guatemala (2-2-1, 7) to a 2-2 Group C draw with Trinidad & Tobago at Hasely Crawford in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying.
The result helped the Soca Warriors (3-0-2, 11 points) clinch a spot in the hexagonal, but delayed the USA (3-1-1, 10) from booking a berth until the final day of the semifinal round. That's when the red, white and blue will host T&T in Jacksonville, Fla. Tuesday.
The Guatemalans, however, will need two big results on Tuesday to deny the USA a spot in the hex.
The Central American side still can catch the Americans on the final match day of the semifinal round. It would need to host Saint Vincent and Grenadines (0-5-0, 0), which was eliminated from contention with a 6-0 loss to the USA Friday afternoon. It also would need the USA to get trounced by T&T because the Americans enjoy an overwhelming goal differential (+13 to +1).
Joevin Jones scored twice for the Soca Warriors, a minute into first-half stoppage time, the second in the 62nd minute. Ruiz also tallied in the 36th minute.