Ruiz, Guevara shine in draw

Guatemala and Honduras played to a just 2-2 draw in San Pedro Sula on Wednesday, the result still leaving the two teams atop Group 2 in the semifinal round of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

Each side got goals from their MLS stars - Los Angeles Galaxy striker Carlos Ruiz opening Guatemala's account early in the first half, before MetroStars midfielder Amado Guevara began the Honduras fightback with a goal just after halftime.

In the other match in Group 2, Costa Rica claimed its first victory of the round and left Canada winless and all but eliminated in a 1-0 scoreline in San Jose.

Ruiz scored his third goal of the semifinal round of qualifying in the 18th minute to give the visitors the lead at Estadio Olimpico in San Pedro Sula. Guillermo Ramirez won the ball and left for Ruiz who came racing in, knocking home a volley to give Guatemala the lead.

The chapines then doubled the margin four minutes after the halftime interval, when Victor Bernardez failed to clear a low centering pass and the ball fell to Ruiz, who backheeled a pass to Dwight Pezzarossi and he slotted home past Honduras 'keeper Noel Valladares.

But barely a minute later, Guevara began to pull his team back. Wilson Palacios sent in a cross from the right that the Guatemalan defense couldn't deal with, and Guevara appeared on the scene to hammer a full-blooded drive through the hands of Ricardo Trigueño.

Then 13 minutes later, Ivan Guerrero again escaped defensive attention and sent in a low cross for David Suazo, who hooked home a right-footed shot as he was falling to provide the equalizer for Honduras.

Guatemala remains atop the group after three games with seven points, two ahead of Honduras. Costa Rica is now third on three points, Canada without a point at the halfway point of the round.

In San Jose, Paulo Cesar Wanchope gave Costa Rica a 1-0 victory with a goal just seconds after he came on as a substitute to start the second half, slipping the ball past Canada 'keeper Pat Onstad (San Jose Earthquakes).

Young Columbus Crew striker Erick Scott played the entire match for Costa Rica, while Onstad's club and country teammate Dwayne DeRosario also played the full 90 minutes.

Guatemala next travels to Costa Rica on Oct. 9, while Honduras plays host to Canada on the same day.

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