[GUATEMALA-USA] Clint Dempsey gave the USA a 1-0 lead in the 40th minute with a superb strike but the Americans left Guatemala with a 1-1 tie after Chicago Fire midfielder Marco Pappa scored with a 23-yard free kick in the 83rd minute.
Goalkeeper Tim Howard stayed rooted as Pappa’s ball curled over the wall and into the middle of the goal from the free kick awarded when left back Fabian Johnson downed Carlos Ruiz.
Johnson had a better moment when he dished the ball to Dempsey at the edge of the penalty. Dempsey’s jukes left two Guatemalans on the ground before he slammed a low ball past keeper Ricardo Jerez. Besides a long-rang effort from Michael Bradley that Jerez easily smothered, the Guatemalan keeper had an easy night. His counterpart, Howard, blocked a close-range efforts from Carlos Figueroa and Luis Rodriguez but also had little to do before watching Papa's shot fly into the net.
The Chapines resorted much on fouls to slow U.S. counterattacks. They were called for 22, with Dempsey suffering the worst of them. Referee Joel Aguilar cautioned two Guatemalans and four Americans, whom he whistled for 14 fouls. The most costly being Johnson's on Ruiz to set up the equalizer.
The Americans opened the semifinal round of Concacaf qualifying last Saturday with a 3-1 home win over Antigua & Barbuda, which on Tuesday stunned Jamaica with a 0-0 tie. The USA is in first place in the four-team group, tied on four points but with a better goal difference than Jamaica, which opened with a 2-1 win over Guatemala.
The top two finishers advance to the final round (Hexagonal) of qualifying, from which the top three finishers advance to the 2014 World Cup and the fourth-place team enters an intra-regional playoff for a spot in Brazil.
The USA resumes qualifying play with games against Jamaica in Kingston Sept. 7 and in Columbus, Ohio, Sept. 11.
June 12 in Guatemala City
Guatemala 1 USA 1. Goals: Papa 83; Dempsey 40.
Guatemala -- Jerez, Morales, Gallardo, L.Rodriguez, Vasquez, Velasquez, Contreras (Leon, 46), Figueroa (Pappa, 46); M.Rodriguez (Pezzarossi, 46), Ruiz, Avila.
USA -- Howard, Cherundolo, Goodson (Cameron, 46), Bocanegra, Johnson, Edu, Bradley, Jones, Donovan (Beckerman, 90+3), Dempsey, 9-Gomez (Altidore, 64).
Yellow cards: Guatemala -- L.Rodriguez 51, Pappa 61; USA -- Goodson 23, Bradley 60, Edu 66, Johnson 82.
Referee:Joel Aguilar (El Salvador)