Jamaica to face US in semifinals

known as "The Office" -- into hysterics as Jamaica advanced 4-1 on aggregate.

King first headed home from inside the penalty area after Ian Goodison had flicked on Ricardo Gardner's corner kick. Then the home side went further ahead just before the quarter-hour mark when King raced into the area to meet strike partner Damani Ralph's (Chicago Fire) right-side cross with his head.

The hat trick was completed just after the half hour following a good buildup, where Gardner sent in a low ball from the left which the active striker slid in to prod home past on-rushing Haiti goalkeeper Gabard Fenelon.

Both teams were left a man down by the end of the match, Jamaica's Garfield Reid (70) and Haiti's Roosevelt Desir (82) each sent off for two bookable offenses.

Ralph started and played 70 minutes, while his Fire teammate Andy Williams was a starter in midfield, playing 85 minutes. MetroStars defender Craig Ziadie played the entire match. Colorado Rapids striker Jean-Philippe Peguero played the entire match for Haiti.

"The players knew what they had to do; they knew the responsibility they had to their country and they delivered," said Jamaica technical director Carl Brown. "We knew once we got our better players out there we would have won. We brought in (Theodore) Whitmore, who is the best player technically in Jamaica and he showed that tonight."

Haiti's coach Fernando Clavijo, who once coached the New England Revolution, praised the Jamaicans: "I thought Jamaica wanted the game more than us as they executed very well in the first 15 to 20 minutes. We were not quick enough and Jamaica were first to the ball, they were winning in everything."

Jamaica will provide the first opposition to the USA in the semifinal round, playing host at the National Stadium on August 18 in the first of the group matches.

COSTA RICA 1 - CUBA 1: Costa Rica was nearly dumped out of the 2006 World Cup at the first hurdle, but survived to escape Cuba thanks to the away goals rule. In Alajuela on Sunday, the two teams drew 1-1, leaving the aggregate score tied 3-3, but Costa Rica netted two goals in Havana in a 2-2 draw on June 13 to book passage to the semifinal round of CONCACAF qualifying.

Rónald G&oactue;mez gave the home side the lead on the half-hour, but Cuba pulled level just before the halftime break through Alain Cervantes, and the ticos were forced to survive a very anxious final 45 minutes.

The Cubans were on the attack through much of the match and had the Costa Ricans on their heels, but a quick counter off one of those attacks led to the first goal. Gilberto Martinez cut out a pass and sent a long pass to Columbus Crew striker Erick Scott, who combined with Gómez before he headed home.

But right on 45 minutes, Cuban striker Pedro Faife pounced on a poor clearance and sent in a long service which Cervantes put home to again level the aggregate, but they couldn't get the vital second goal which would have provided the shocking upset of the 2002 World Cup finalist.

AFRICA: Botswana bounced back from a disappointing start to their 2006 World Cup qualifying campaign with a 2-0 win against Malawi in Gabarone on Saturday.

The Zebras' first goal came after just five minutes from Chicago Fire striker Dipsy Selolwane, then their lead was then doubled in the 24th minute by Nelson Gabolwelwe.

It was Selolwane's fourth goal of the qualifying campaign, making him the joint top goal scorer in the African preliminaries.

Uganda, without injured MetroStars defender Tenywa Bonseu, suffered a surprising 1-0 loss away to Cape Verde Islands in Praia. It was just the sixth World Cup match ever for the island archipelago, which entered World Cup qualifying for the first time for Korea/Japan 2002.

In Brazzaville, Colorado Rapids striker Zizi Roberts played the entire match, but Liberia suffered a 3-0 defeat to Congo, failing to follow up on their shock victory against Mali to open World Cup qualifying.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.


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