Mexico wins; South Africa-Jamaica tie
Goals galore highlighted Sunday's Group C play at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. First, Mexico destroyed Guatemala 4-0 as striker Jared Borgetti put his name in the Mexican record books. Then, South Africa and Jamaica played a wide-open, entertaining 3-3 draw.
South Africa and Jamaica are even with four points while Mexico sits in third place on three points. Guatemala is last with zero points.
It did not take Mexico quite as long to get on the scoreboard Sunday as it did on Friday in their shocking loss to South Africa. Just five minutes in, Mexico striker Jared Borgetti did what he does best and scored his 34th career international goal. After a failed Guatemalan clearance sailed into the penalty area, Borgetti trapped the ball with his right foot, shook off a Guatemalan defender and fired a laser beam into the right corner of the net, well past the diving Miguel Angel Klee.
In the 14th minute, Borgetti reached a personal landmark. Borgetti bagged his second goal of the match and his 35th career goal for Mexico, tying him with Luis Hernandez and Carlos Hermosillo atop his country's all-time scoring table.
On the historic play, Alberto Medina found space on the right flank and sent a cross into the top of the area. Borgetti controlled it, faked a pass to a wide-open teammate and kept the ball. He spun and fired a shot into the lower left corner of the net.
Borgetti nearly set a new record in the 33rd minute but his rebound attempt from 10 yards out sailed wide of the net. A spectacular save kept Borgetti surpassing Hermosillo and Hernandez in the 36th minute. Borgetti was wide open near the penalty spot on a free kick from the left flank and hammered a header destined for the left corner of the net, but Klee dived to his left and just pushed it wide.
Guatemala's offense struggled throughout the first half. The chapines had few possessions go their way and often resorted to firing long-range bombs at goal, few of which caused any great concern for Mexico 'keeper Moises Munoz.
Mexico put the game away in the 55th minute after some nifty passing inside Guatemala's penalty area. Omar Bravo fed Luis Perez on the left side of the area as Gerardo Galindo raced in toward the far post. Perez first-timed a pass to Galindo, who tapped the ball in for a goal.
Bravo put the exclamation mark on the victory with a 65th-minute goal. Antonio Naelson "Zinha" sent a through ball onto Bravo's path. The Chivas de Guadalajara striker slipped the ball past Klee, who had run to the edge of the area in a failed attempt to stop the shot.
The second match of the doubleheader featured plenty of offense but the group title was not decided after South Africa and Jamaica tied 3-3.
South Africa opened the scoring in the 35th minute on a goal from Abreme Raselemane but Jamaica countered right back when Jermaine Hue leveled the score a minute later.
In the 41st minute, Lungisani Ndlela appeared to give South Africa a lead heading into halftime when he buried a header past Jamaica 'keeper Donovan Ricketts but Reggae Boyz defender Damion Stewart powered a header past South African 'keeper Calvin Marlin two minutes before the break.
Syabango Nomvette scored on a breakaway in the 57th minute, putting South Africa ahead 3-2. For the next 20 minutes, Jamaica threatened but could not string a final pass together inside the area. With the match nearing full-time, Jamaica finally equalized for the third time. as Teafore Bennett hit after a scramble inside the penalty area.
Group C play concludes Wednesday in Houston as Guatemala faces South Africa and Mexico plays Jamaica.
Luis Bueno is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.