Tottenham striker Clint Dempsey's double helps US beat Guatemala 3-1
Tottenham striker Clint Dempsey scored two goals to lead the United States to a 3-1 win over visiting Guatemala and into next year's North American final round of qualifying.
English Premier League striker Dempsey broke a 1-1 deadlock with a goal in the 18th minute and added another in the 36th for the Americans. Jamaica beat Antigua and Barbuda 4-1 to advance at the expense of Guatemala.
"Credit my teammates. They were putting good balls in. I was lucky enough to get them to go in," Dempsey said. "A little pressure on us but it's behind us now. We want to go to the World Cup. This is the first step to getting there."
Honduras, Panama, Costa Rica and Mexico rounded out next year's six-team, final-round qualifying line-up from the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (Concacaf).
Honduras routed visiting Canada 8-1 to advance, while Panama moved through with a 1-1 draw at winless Cuba and Costa Rica blanked winless Guyana 7-0 to advance on the concluding night of the 12-nation penultimate qualifying round.
Three Concacaf teams will advance to the 2014 global football showdown in Brazil, with Dempsey saying the US squad need to improve away from home in order to avoid pushing qualifying fights to the final match.
"We haven't been able to get too many wins away from home," Dempsey said. "If we start getting wins away from home and keep our results at home, I think we'll be all right."
Carlos Ruiz gave Guatemala the lead with a goal in the fifth minute to put a scare into the Americans at Kansas City. US captain Carlos Bocanegra answered in the 10th minute to equalise, setting the stage for Dempsey's double strike.
Jamaica and Guatemala each finished three wins, two losses and one draw in group A but Jamaica moved on due to superior goal difference.