Los Angeles Soccer: Guatemala national team
Chicago Fire star Marco Pappa's free kick toward the upper-right corner in the 83rd minute left goalkeeper Tim Howard rooted to his spot, enabling the Chapines (0-1-1) to claim a point in their Group A home opener.
Clint Dempsey scored near the end of the first half for the Americans (1-0-1), who are atop their semifinal group on goal difference over Jamaica (1-0-1), which played a scoreless draw at Antigua & Barbuda (0-1-1).
ELSEWHERE: Hector Moreno nodded home a misplay by Salvadoran goalkeeper Benji Villalobos in the 82nd minute to lift Mexico to a 2-1 triumph in San Salvador. In the other Group B game, Real Salt Lake's Alvaro Saborio scored a hat trick to lead Costa Rica past Guyana, 4-0. ... Canada gained a point in Toronto, playing Honduras to a scoreless draw in Group C. Panama is atop the group after beating Cuba, 1-0, on Nelson Barahona's second-half strike.
- THE NUMBERS
Guatemala 1 (Pappa 83), United States 1 (Dempsey 40)
Antigua & Barbuda 0, Jamaica 0
1. United States 1-0-1 (4-2 GF-GA) 4 points
2. Jamaica 1-0-1 (2-1) 4
3. Guatemala 0-1-1 (2-3) 1
4. Antigua & Barbuda 0-1-1 (1-3) 1
El Salvador 1 (Pacheco 65), Mexico 2 (Zavala 60, Moreno 82)
Guyana 0, Costa Rica 4 (Saborio 20, 26, 52, Campbell 77)
1. Mexico 2-0-0 (5-2) 6
2. Costa Rica 1-0-1 (6-2) 4
3. El Salvador 0-1-1 (3-4) 1
4. Guyana 0-2-0 (1-7) 0
Canada 0, Honduras 0
Panama 1 (Barahona 58), Cuba 0
1. Panama 2-0-0 (3-0) 6
2. Canada 1-0-1 (1-0) 4
3. Honduras 0-1-1 (0-2) 1
4. Cuba 0-2-0 (0-2) 0
Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez's tournament-best sixth goal, a nifty little backheel in the 66th minute, sent El Tri to a 2-1 triumph over surprising Guatemala. The Chapines scored early and bunkered in, but they couldn't keep Mexico's high-power attack dormant beyond halftime in front of 78,807 in East Rutherford, N.J.
Honduras prevailed in the best game so far in the Gold Cup, clipping fellow Central American giant Costa Rica on penalties after a 1-1 draw. Real Salt Lake's Alvaro Saborio takes the brunt of blame for the Ticos after missing a second-half spot kick and again in the tiebreaker.
A quick look at the 14th day in the region's championship:
CHICHARITO, OF COURSE: Hernandez, the Manchester United star who just turned 23, is CONCACAF's biggest star and best player, and his cheeky winner was his 20th goal in just 27 international matches.
Former Galaxy striker Carlos Ruiz, now with the Philadelphia Union, gave Guatemala a fifth-minute lead, but the Chapines' defensive tactics couldn't close off the Mexicans, who dominated most of the action to advance to Wednesday's semifinals in Houston against Honduras.
Ruiz volleyed over goalkeeper Alfredo Talavera as he fell at the top of the box, a superb use of his body to place the ball inside the right post after beating Rafa Marquez to a long ball into the box.
Aldo de Nigris, a halftime substitute, scored the equalizer less than three minutes into the second half, slipping home a rebound after goalkeeper Ricardo Jerez rejected Hector Moreno's header and defender Carlos Gallardo swept Moreno's follow-up off the goal line.
COSTA RICA SPOT OFF: Honduras reached the final four primarily because its exactness at the penalty spot couldn't be matched by Costa Rica. The Catrachos weathered one penalty kick in regulation and prevailed on the PK shootout at the end when their Central American rival twice struck the crossbar.
Jamaica finished a perfect run through Group B, notching its third shutout in a showdown Monday night with Honduras, and Guatemala romped to claim one of two third-place berths in the CONCACAF Gold Cup's quarterfinals.
San Jose Earthquakes forward Ryan Johnson scored the lone goal in Jamaica's triumph, which also sent the Hondurans to the knockout stage, where they will meet the other Central American power, Costa Rica, in Saturday's quarterfinal opener in East Rutherford, N.J.
Jamaica will face the No. 2 team from Group C in Sunday's quarterfinal doubleheader in Washington. The likeliest foe: United States.
Chicago Fire midfielder Marco Pappa scored one goal and set up another to lead Guatemala to a 4-0 rout of Grenada in the opener at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J.
A quick look at the ninth day of group play in the region's nations championship:
ROCKSTEADY REGGAE BOYZ: Jamaica followed shutout victories over Grenada and Guatemala with a 1-0 triumph over the Hondurans, who started just four first-choice players from last year's World Cup squad and lost star forward Carlo Costly to a rib injury midway through the first half.
The group title is another achievement for the Reggae Boyz, who failed to reach the final round of qualifying for last year's World Cup, then bounced back to win the Caribbean Championship in January. Outsiders when the tournament began, they'll likely enter the knockout phase as the Gold Cup's No. 2 team, trailing only Mexico on goal difference.
Johnson netted his second goal of the tournament on a wild sequence in the 36th minute. His blast caromed down off the crossbar, smacked Catrachos goalkeeper Noel Valladares in the back of the head, and the ball bounced into the net.
Demar Phillips scored 13 minutes apart in the second half to lead Galaxy goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts and the Reggae Boyz to a 2-0 triumph over Guatemala in the first game of the doubleheader at Florida International University. Carlo Costly had a hat trick and set up another goal in Honduras' 7-1 romp.
Jamaica, which will make its first quarterfinal appearance since 2005, lost Toronto FC defender Dicoy Williams to an eighth-minute leg injury.
CATRACHOS AWAKEN: After failing to score despite a two-man advantage in its group opener Monday night against Guatemala at Home Depot Center, Honduras overcame an early deficit to destroy Grenada behind Costly and Jerry Bengtson, who netted two. Oscar Boniek Garcia assisted goals by both and the stoppage-time finale by Alfred Mejia.
Grenada, 4-0 losers to Jamaica on Monday, looked ready for an upset early, with Clive Murray providing a 19th-minute lead by knocking in his rebound after firing off the right post, the first Gold Cup goal in Spice Boys history. But it was over by halftime -- Bengtson tallied in the 26th, Costly in the 28th and Bengtson again in the 37th -- and the Hondurans added four more, primarily from through balls, from the 67th on. Two of Costly's goals were simple tap-ins.
That's five four-goal-or-worse romps in the Gold Cup's first 10 matches, two by Mexico (5-0 over El Salvador and Cuba), another by Costa Rica (5-0 over Cuba) and the Grenada defeats.
REGGAE BOYZ ON SONG: Looking for an outsider that could reach the June 25 final if the U.S. or Mexico slips up? How about Jamaica, which followed a dominant showing against the Grenadians with another impressive victory. This one was much more difficult, but Phillips scored in the 65th and 78th minute, tucking the ball inside the right post from feeds by Keammar Daley and then New York Red Bulls winger Dane Richards.
Jamaica met expectations but Honduras couldn't, even with a two-man advantage for a good 15 minutes, as the CONCACAF Gold Cup opened Group B play Monday night at Home Depot Center.
The Reggae Boyz hammered Grenada, 4-0, and could have had several more goals in a simple exercise that gave them command of the group heading into encounters with the Central Americans.
Guatemala, which lost two players in the second half to second yellow cards, thrilled most in a crowd of 21,507 by holding off World Cup finalists Honduras in a 0-0 draw.
A quick look at the second day of group play in the region's nations championship:
CARIBBEAN CLUBBING: On the eve of the Group B openers, New York Red Bulls winger Dane Richards said Jamaica was “thinking we're going to play Spain tomorrow. That's how we're looking at the Grenada team.”
The Reggae Boyz weren't nearly as sharp as they'll need to be when they come up against the bigger boys in the tournament, but if either team was carrying the World Cup champs' mantle, it was Jamaica.
Ryan Johnson scored three goals, but only one of them counted as the Jamaicans dominated their Caribbean rival, running up a 23-2 advantage on shots and making Galaxy goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts' evening most uneventful.
There's one early-stage CONCACAF Gold Cup doubleheader slated for the these parts, and now we know who's coming.
CONCACAF released all 12 rosters Monday for its nations championship, which begins June 5 and ends with the final -- U.S.-Mexico is hoped for, certainly -- on June 25 at the Rose Bowl.
A Group B twinbill is coming to Home Depot Center on Monday, June 6, with a Caribbean showdown (Jamaica vs. Grenada) at 6 p.m. and a Central American matchup (Honduras vs. Guatemala) at 8.
Honduras' roster features a dozen players from last year's World Cup team, including four who played every minute for the Catrachos (goalkeeper Noel Valladares, defenders Osman Chavez and Maynor Figueroa, and midfielder Wilson Palacios), plus Sporting Kansas City left back Roger Espinoza, who was raised in Denver, and former Chivas USA midfielder Ramon Nuņez.
Guatemala is led by former Galaxy star Carlos Ruiz, now in Philadelphia, and Chicago Fire midfielder Marco Pappa.
The Jamaicans have eight MLS players, including Galaxy goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts and former Galaxy defender Tyrone Marshall, and 11 based in Europe, nine of them in Sweden or Norway. Grenada has Brooklyn-raised New England Revolution midfielder Shalrie Joseph, who would have played in two World Cups already had he chosen to play for the U.S.