Guatemala moved into a tie for second place in CONCACAF Qualifying Group A with its comprehensive 4-1 win against Cuba on Wednesday night in Guatemala City. Toronto FC striker Carlos Ruiz scored a pair for Guatemala, which pulled even with Trinidad & Tobago, which lost to the United States, 3-0, on Wednesday.
Cuba actually opened the scoring in the 25th minute off a finish from star forward Roberto Linares, but Guatemala responded immediately at Estadio Mateo Flores, with Ruiz equalizing in the 38th before giving ‘Los Chapines’ the lead in the 55th minute.
Now Guatemala will play host to Trinidad & Tobago on Oct. 11 in the match that could ultimately decide which team joins the United States in the final round of CONCACAF Qualifying next year.
Mexico dims Canada’s chances with a win
Escape Mexico with a point. That’s all Canada was hoping for when it took on the unbeaten Mexicans in CONCACAF Qualifying Group B action. A tie seemed possible as both teams took the field in the second half with the match scoreless, but headers from Omar Bravo and Rafael Marquez changed all that as ‘El Tri’ beat Canada, 2-1, to move to 3-0 in qualifying and keep Canada winless after three matches.
The victory also marked Cuauhtemoc Blanco’s final match for Mexico. Blanco retired from the national team after a 13-year career that saw him score 35 goals for Mexico.
Here are some highlights from the match:
The Canadians are in deep trouble after Honduras beat Jamaica, 2-0, to go five points clear of both Canada and Jamaica for the second spot in the group with just three matches remaining. Canada’s only hope at this point is to win all three remaining games. The first of those matches comes next, on Oct. 11, against Honduras in San Pedro Sula.
Peru stuns Argentina with late equalizer
Argentina was expected to walk over Peru in their CONMEBOL World Cup qualifier, but Peru didn’t let that happen. Instead of suffering yet another defeat, Peru salvaged a point, and some pride, when Johan Fano headed home a last-gasp equalizer in Peru’s 1-1 tie vs. Argentina in Lima.
Here is the goal:
The tie drops Argentina into a tie for third place in CONMEBOL qualifying with Brazil, which tied Bolivia in Brazil. Uruguay and Ecuador also drew while Chile smashed Colombia, 4-0, in one of the more stunning results of the day.
These are just some of the stories from Wednesday’s loaded World Cup qualifying schedule. You had Theo Walcott’s hat-trick leading England past Croatia. There was Denmark’s rally to score two late goals and beat Portugal in Portugal. Then there was Germany’s 3-3 shootout against Finland as well as France’s much-needed win against Serbia.
Feel free to share your thoughts on these, and any other World Cup qualifying stories, in the comments section below.