Mateo Flores, Guatemala (Sports Network) - The United States national team led
for much of the second half but was left to rue a late Guatemala goal as Marco
Pappa struck in the 82nd minute to see the two sides play to a 1-1 draw at the
Estadio Mateo Flores on Tuesday.
Clint Dempsey had given the visitors the lead in the 40th minute but Pappa,
who plies his trade in America with the Chicago Fire, netted a free kick to
give the Guatemalans their first point of World Cup Qualifying.
The Group 1 table remains unchanged after Jamaica played to a scoreless draw
with Antigua and Barbuda on Tuesday. The United States remains tied with
Jamaica atop the group with four points from two games while Guatemala and
Antigua and Barbuda follow closely on a point apiece.
Despite controlling much of the opening period, the United States could only
break the deadlock five minutes before the break. Fabian Johnson drifted
inside from his position on the left flank and played a square pass to
Dempsey. The Fulham attacker slipped past two Guatemalan defenders before
firing a low shot past goalkeeper Ricardo Jerez.
Guatemala came close to leveling the score in the 69th minute when shot from
close range looked destined for the back of the net, but Tim Howard produced a
amazing save with an outstretched hand to preserve the lead for the Americans.
The United States continued to press in search of an insurance goal and had a
great opportunity to do so in the 79th minute when Jozy Altidore thought he
was through on goal, but referee Joel Anguilar curiously whistled play back
and did not allow advantage after a foul from Carlos Gallardo on Dempsey.
With just eight minutes remaining, Pappa made the United States pay for their
wasted scoring opportunities as his free kick into the upper corner ensured a
point for both sides.
Qualifying resumes on Sept. 7 when the United States heads to Jamaica and
Guatemala hosts Antigua and Barbuda.
The Sports Network