Jamaica, a country currently celebrating it's fiftieth anniversary of independence from Britain, defeated the United States 2-1 in Kingston today to go top of Group A in CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying. The two sides will meet again on Tuesday, in Columbus. Guatemala defeated Antigua tonight 3-1 to pull level with the US in the group.
The US got a goal thirty-six seconds in, as Clint Dempsey broke the record for fastest goal scored in US World Cup Qualifying history. Dempsey held the old record, 53 seconds vs. Barbados.
Kyle Beckerman gave up a free kick in a dangerous area, and then the 25 yard free kick hit his leg as it headed toward goal beating Tim Howard to the lower right corner. Jamaica scored their second goal on a free kick as well, again 25 yards out, in the 62nd minute.
The match in Columbus against Jamaica now becomes crucial, as qualifying is now no longer a guarantee.
Elsewhere in CONCACAF, Mexico defeated Costa Rica 2-0 in San Jose. The result means Mexico can now clinch the group and a spot in the next round with a win on Tuesday. Cuba, the only team yet to earn a point, lost 3-0 to Honduras, and can be eliminated on Tuesday with a loss.
Otherwise, every other team is still mathematically involved. Canada leads their group with seven points, making the United States the only North American nation not to lead their group.
Over in UEFA, Ireland earned a victory over Kazakhstan today in a come from behind effort. A Robbie Keane penalty in the 89' drew the match level, then Kevin Doyle of Wolverhampton Wanderers scored the match winner one minute later.
In the OFC, New Zealand defeated New Caledonia 2-0. Dan Keat did not play, but was listed in the 18.