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  • World Cup qualifiers

USA and Costa Rica secure Brazil berths

ESPN staff
September 11, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Landon Donovan wrapped up the three points - and World Cup qualification - for the United States © AP
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The United States clinched their seventh straight World Cup appearance after beating Mexico 2-0 on Tuesday night with second-half goals by Eddie Johnson and Landon Donovan.

The US got the breakthrough in the 49th minute when Johnson outjumped defender Diego Reyes to meet Donovan's corner eight yards out and head the ball past goalkeeper Jesus Corona.

With Mexico going on the attack, the US scored in the 78th minute following a throw-in when Mix Diskerud threaded the ball across the middle. Clint Dempsey got the slightest of touches as he slid into the goalmouth, and Donovan poked the ball in from two yards.

The win moved the US into first place in the North and Central American and Caribbean qualifying group with 16 points, one ahead of Costa Rica, who were held to a 1-1 draw in Jamaica but also secured their spot in Brazil.

"Obviously this is a huge, huge evening for all of us," said US coach Jurgen Klinsmann. "It's a huge milestone whenever you make it to a World Cup."

The top three teams qualify, and the US had to wait an hour after the final whistle to learn they were assured of a spot in Brazil next June. But when Honduras held on for a 2-2 draw against Panama in Tegucigalpa, the Americans grabbed a World Cup berth with two games to spare.

Mexico dropped into fifth place on goal difference and seem likely to be, at best, destined for a play-off showdown against Oceania qualifying group winners New Zealand.

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