June 12, 2012
FIT TO BE TIED
US settles for 1-1 WCQ draw with Guatemala
GUATEMALA CITY -- Second-half substitute Marco Pappa converted a free kick in the 83rd minute to lift Guatemala into a 1-1 draw with the United States in a World Cup qualifying match at Estadio Mateo Flores on Tuesday night.
|Clint Dempsey scored his second goal of this round of World Cup Qualifying as the U.S. drew Guatemala 1-1 on Tuesday night.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
The tie boosted the Americans (1-0-1, four points) into the CONCACAF Group A lead with Jamaica (1-0-1, four), which played host Antigua & Barbuda (0-1-1, one) to a scoreless tie earlier in the night. Guatemala (0-1-1, one) is tied with Antigua.
The draw extended the U.S.'s unbeaten streak over the Central American side to 18 games (12-0-6), dating back to a 1-0 loss on Jan. 10, 1988.
With time winding down in the match, U.S. midfielder Fabian Johnson received a yellow card for fouling striker Carlos Ruiz some 24 yards from the net. Pappa, who replaced Carlos Figueroa at halftime, fired a left-footed shot just inside the underside of the crossbar past goalkeeper Tim Howard to equalize.
Clint Dempsey struck in the 40th minute to give the Americans a 1-0 lead.
Johnson sent the Fulham midfielder-forward a centering pass from the left side and Dempsey got some space from his marker and slotted his 27th international goal past goalkeeper Ricardo Jerez.
Only two minutes prior to the goal, Howard denied Ruiz on a shot from the right side of the penalty area.
Ruiz was a handful for the U.S. defense for most of the match.
A minute into first-half stoppage time, Ruiz beat midfielders Michael Bradley and Maurice Edu and fired a shot from inside the penalty area that just missed the net on the left side.
Pappa gave the Central Americans a much-needed spark in the second half. The Chicago Fire midfielder just missed the net with a shot in the 68th minute.
Howard was on top of his game, producing several key saves. He stopped Rodriguez from point-blank range in the 69th minute. The ball popped up and Ruiz sent the rebound over the crossbar.
Howard was credited with three saves, while Jerez had one.
Four Americans were awarded yellow cards, while the hosts were given two.
The teams won't play again until September, when the U.S. takes on Jamaica in a home-and-home series and the Guatemalans play Antigua in a similar confrontation.