US wraps up berth in CONCACAF finals
The United States breezed into the final round of World Cup qualifying with unusual ease.
DaMarcus Beasley scored a pair of first-half goals, Landon Donovan and Brian Ching padded the lead early in the second, and the Americans routed Cuba, 6-1, last night in Washington, D.C.
Jozy Altidore and Oguchi Onyewu added goals for the United States in the final minutes as the game got sloppy and the Cubans tired.
With two semifinal-round matches remaining, the Americans (4-0) have secured a berth in next year's six-nation finals of the North and Central American and Caribbean region. The top three teams in the finals qualify for the 2010 World Cup, and the No. 4 nation goes to a playoff against the fifth-place team in South America for another berth.
Cuba (0-4) dressed only five substitutes after Pedro Faife and forward Reynier Alcantara went missing Friday, a sign that they may be defecting.
Jose Francisco Torres made his US national team debut when he entered in the 68th minute along with Altidore. Torres, a 20-year-old midfielder with Pachuca, was born in Texas to an American mother and a Mexican father. By appearing for the US, he no longer is eligible to play for Mexico.
Elsewhere in CONCACAF qualifying, Ricardo Fuller scored in the 14th minute to help Jamaica beat visiting Mexico, 1-0, in Kingston. Honduras earned a 3-1 victory over visiting Canada. Mexico and Honduras lead Group 2 with 9 points. Jamaica has 4 points and Canada has 1.
In Group 3, Costa Rica (12 points) advanced to the final round with a 4-1 win at Suriname (1 point). Host Haiti (2 points) and El Salvador (7) played to a 0-0 tie.
European champion Spain won, 3-0, at Estonia to extend its unbeaten streak to 25 games, and England outplayed Kazakhstan, 5-1, in another European World Cup qualifying game after being booed off the field at halftime by its fans.
Struggling France rallied from two goals down to tie Romania, 2-2, and preserve coach Raymond Domenech's job, and Germany edged Russia, 2-1, to stay in first place in its group.
Italy played to a 0-0 draw in Bulgaria to stay atop Group 8.
Chivas USA 1, Earthquakes 0 - Justin Braun's early goal lifted Chivas USA at San Jose.