Thursday, June 09, 2005

US digs Panama, 3-0, to approach WC Qualification

First-half goals from Carlos Bocanegra, Landon Donovan, and Brian McBride and another stellar goalkeeping performance from Kasey Keller made the US a near-certainty for next summer’s World Cup in a 3-0 thumping of Panama last night in the Central American capital. Combined with Mexico’s 2-0 home win vs. Trinidad and Costa Rica’s 3-2 win over Guatemala in San Jose, the US (4-1-0) sits comfortably in 2nd place in the CONCACAF Standings after five of ten qualifying matches. Both Bocanegra and Donovan scored on headers in the first 25 minutes of the match, making the Panamanian crowd a non-factor. McBride scored his 28th goal for the US close to halftime. The only down note for the team was a yellow card picked by defender Eddie Pope, which will suspend him for the next qualification game, vs. Trindad on August 17th in Hartford. If results stay true to form, the US could clinch their fifth consecutive World Cup berth with a win on September 3rd in Columbus vs. Mexico.

In other World Cup news, five nations joined host Germany as qualified teams for next summer: Argentina, Iran, Japan, Saudi Arabia, and South Korea.

Results
Wednesday, June 8th
CONCACAF
Mexico 2-0 Trinidad
Panama 0-3 US
Costa Rica 3-2 Guatemala

Standings (Team, Points, GD)
CONCACAF (Top 3 qualify, 4th place plays off vs. Asian 5th place)
1. Mexico 13, +6
2. US 12, +8
3. Costa Rica 7, -2
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4. Guatemala 4, -1
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Trinidad 4, -5
Panama 2, -6

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