Gomez gives USA victory, Mexico advance

Herculez Gomez scored a second-half free-kick as the USA got their 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign back on track with a 1-0 win over Jamaica.

Meanwhile Mexico became the first team through to the next regional stage of qualifying after Javier Hernandez scored the only goal in a 1-0 win against Costa Rica.

Gomez curled in a shot from just outside the penalty area in the 55th minuteTuesday to avenge the defeat to Jamaica last week in front of a crowd of 23,881 at the Columbus Crew Stadium.

"It wasn't very pretty but we did very well," Gomez said.

The United States, Jamaica and Guatemala all have seven points at the top of Group A in the semi-final round of qualifying in North and Central America and the Caribbean (CONCACAF).

The top two teams from each group will advance to the final phase of qualifying next year.

Guatemala and the United States hold the edge over Jamaica with a superior goal difference.

In other matches Tuesday, Guatemala defeated Antigua and Barbuda 1-0, El Salvador edged Guyana 3-2, Panama beat Canada 2-0 and Honduras blanked Cuba 1-0.

The US have two games left, at home to Antigua and Barbuda on October 12 and away in Guatemala four days later.

Jamaica had claimed their first-ever win against the United States with a 2-1 victory in Kingston on Friday.

The United States dominated the opening half Tuesday but failed to convert their chances as the game remained scoreless going into half-time.

Jamaican goalkeeper Dwayne Miller was superb throughout. In the 20th minute, he deflected a Steve Cherundolo cross onto a post.

American Danny Williams also had an excellent scoring attempt in the 30th minute, but his shot from 25 yards out rebounded off the post.

The USA were awarded a free-kick when Clint Dempsey was fouled just outside the penalty area by Jamaica's Rodolph Austin.

Gomez took the kick, placing it just inside the post as Miller got a hand on it but not enough to keep it out.

"That is my distance," Gomez said. "I feel comfortable with the ball from there. I struck it and it went in."

Mexico started with the same line-up on Tuesday at Azteca Stadium that they used in Friday's 2-0 away win over Costa Rica.

Manchester United striker Hernandez converted a Jorge Torres cross in the 60th minute for his 26th international goal in 41 games.

They have secured top spot in Group B with an unassailable 12 points with two games left ahead of El Salvador on five points and Costa Rica on four.

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