Jamaica in trouble, Guatemala through

Jamaica continued their indifferent form, putting their qualification for the final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying in serious jeopardy when they played El Salvador to a scoreless draw on Wednesday night in Kingston.

For years "The Office," as the National Stadium in Kingston is known, was impregnable for visiting teams. But Jamaica failed to win there in their three semifinal round matches, and now face a very difficult away match to the already-qualified USA on the final day of group play, Nov. 17 in Columbus.

The Reggae Boyz are second in Group A with six points from five matches, one ahead of Panama and two ahead of El Salvador. Panama play host to El Salvador in their final group match.

Unlike Jamaica's 1-1 draw at Panama at the weekend, the second-half addition of Chicago Fire midfielder Andy Williams (who came on for the Los Angeles Galaxy's Tyrone Marshall) didn't change his side's fortunes. Fire teammate Damani Ralph started in attack for Jamaica, while MetroStars fullback Craig Ziadie also played the entire match.

A protested 44th-minute goal from the Galaxy's Carlos Ruiz sent Guatemala into the final round of CONCACAF qualifying with a 1-0 victory against Honduras in Guatemala City.

Ruiz missed out on Guatemala's humiliating 5-0 defeat last weekend through suspension, but he shook off a hamstring injury which kept him out of the Los Angeles match on Saturday to return for his country, and scored the only marker of the game, despite bitter protests from Honduras that he was offside.

MetroStars midfielder Amado Guevara played the entire match for Honduras, who now face a desperate fight if they are to qualify for the final six-team round. With six points from five matches, they trail Costa Rica by three points - and the two teams face off on the final day of the semifinal round in San Pedro Sula.

Costa Rica moved within a point of advancing to the final group with a come-from-behind 3-1 victory against Canada in Vancouver, as Frank Yallop's squad was eliminated from the competition.

San Jose Earthquakes striker Dwayne De Rosario gave the Maple Leafs a 12th-minute lead, but Costa Rica's three substitutes all hit home in the second half: Paulo Wanchope in the 49th minute, former New England Revolution forward William Sunsing in the 81st and Carlos Hernandez (87).

Wanchope was a 30th-minute substitute for Chicago Fire starter Andy Herron, after he received a yellow card, while Columbus Crew striker Erick Scott partnered Herron in attack to start the match, coming off for Sunsing in the 76th minute.

In Group C, Mexico booked passage to the final round and kept their perfect record afloat with a comprehensive 3-0 victory against Trinidad & Tobago in Puebla.

Antonio Naelson gave Mexico a 19th-minute lead, then Jaime Lozano scored twice after the break, in the 56th and 84th minutes.

Still, Trinidad & Tobago are on the verge of qualifying for the final round, with nine points from five matches. They face St. Vincent & Grenadines at home on the final day of semifinal round play. MetroStars striker Cornell Glen started for the Soca Warriors, playing 76 minutes.

The Vincentians won their second match in the round, defeating winless and pointless St. Kitts and Nevis 3-0 in Basseterre. Kendall Velox scored twice (9, 82) and Shandel Samuel added a third in between. D.C. United's Ezra Hendrickson captained his side and played the entire match.

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


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