International Notebook: World Cup qualifiers continue for Timbers players in CONCACAF
Timbers midfielder Lovel Palmer played the full 90 minutes in his fourth 2014 World Cup qualifier of the summer on Tuesday evening as Jamaica fell 1-0 to the U.S. Men’s National Team at Columbus Crew Stadium.
After Jamaica’s historic 2-1 upset of the United States in last Friday’s 2014 World Cup qualifier, in which Palmer also played 90 minutes for the Reggae Boyz, he and his teammates were unable to duplicate the feat in Columbus.
Palmer was once again deployed at right back by Jamaica head coach Theodore Whitmore, although a 17th-minute caution for a late slide tackle on Jermaine Jones hampered his ability to play too physically throughout the remainder of the match.
A combination of Palmer, Reggae Boyz goalkeeper Dwayne Miller and the woodwork kept the United States at bay for 55 minutes until the Yanks’ Herculez Gomez exacted a bit of poetic revenge by scoring the game-winning goal on a well-taken free kick; both Jamaica’s goals in the teams’ previous match four days earlier came from free kicks.
Jamaica, the United States and Guatemala are all tied atop the CONCACAF Group A standings with seven points from four games; Antigua and Barbuda rounds out the group with one point.
The Reggae Boyz play their final two Round 3 World Cup Qualifiers next month when they travel to Guatemala on Oct. 12 before hosting Antigua and Barbuda four days later.
Timbers midfielder/defender Rodney Wallace and the Costa Rica national team fell 1-0 to Mexico on Tuesday night at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, pushing them to third in Group B play. Mexico clinched a spot in the final hexagonal round of CONCACAF qualifying.
Mexico scored the game-winning goal an hour into the match via a cross from the left side of the box in front of goal whereupon Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez headed it past the keeper. Wallace entered the match as a 72nd minute substitute to provide some pace but The Ticos were unable to find the equalizer.
Costa Rica and Wallace will next play El Salvador and Steve Purdy on October 12 in El Salvador, as the two teams battle it out for second place in Group B of CONCACAF qualifying.
Though Purdy was on the matchday eighteen for La Selecta on Tuesday night, he did not make an appearance in their match against Guyana.
With their backs against the wall, El Salvador secured a much-needed victory to keep their chances of advancing to the round of CONCACAF hexagonal with a 3-2 win over Guyana at Providence Stadium in Georgetown (Spanish).
Midfielders Oseal Romero and Jaime Alas scored for the Cuscatlecos while forward Rafael Burgos had the game-winner. The victory also puts El Salvador in third place in Group B with three points of group 2.
El Salvador will next host Costa Rica in a World Cup qualifier on Oct. 12.