USA earns 2-0 win over Jamaica; Mexico earns huge win over Panama
El Paso, TX — The U.S. Men's National Team utilized a second-half attacking surge to secure a 2-0 win against Jamaica that clinched the top spot in the Hexagonal for a third straight FIFA World Cup Qualifying cycle. The match was played in front of a sold-out crowd of 18,467 at Sporting Park.
Mexico earned a 2-1 home victory over Panama, giving El Tri 11 points in World Cup Qualifying. Oribe Peralta Morones scored in the 40' minute, while Raúl Jiménez added the winner in the 85' minute.
The U.S. victory, combined with Costa Rica's 1-0 loss to Honduras earlier in the evening, made the Americans' spot atop the final CONCACAF qualifying group unassailable with one match left to play.
The U.S. sits atop the group with 19 points (6-2-1), followed by Costa Rica (4-2-3, 15 points) and Honduras (4-3-2, 14 points). The USA and Costa Rica have qualified for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and Honduras has assured itself at least a spot in a playoff against the Oceania region representative New Zealand.
Midfielder Graham Zusi, who stars for Major League Soccer's Sporting Kansas City, and forward Jozy Altidore provided the scoring punch with goals in the 77th and 81st minutes, respectively. The victory provided the USA with a perfect 5-0-0 record in home qualifying games during this cycle. The USA out-scored its opposition 8-0 over the five matches.
Goalkeeper Tim Howard, who wore the captain's armband, earned the his 33rd international clean sheet to move into sole possession of second place all-time ahead of National Soccer Hall of Famer Tony Meola.