The United States and Costa Rica both notched important wins on Friday to move joint top of CONCACAF qualifying for next year’s World Cup, while Mexico’s hopes were dented by a 0-0 draw at Panama. Brad Evans scored in the second minute of second-half stoppage time, giving the U.S. a thrilling 2-1 win over Jamaica at Kingston. Jozy Altidore put the Americans ahead in the 30th minute, but Jermaine Beckford seemed to have secured a draw when he headed in a free kick in the 89th. However the visiting Americans still had to time to snatch a winner. After working the ball into the box from a corner, Evans took the ball amid a cluster of Jamaica defenders, spun and beat goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts from about 10 yards. “They’re dire moments.” Evans said. “There’s still work to be done. But three points, on the road, in a place we haven’t won, is pretty special.” The win moved the U.S. to seven points from four games, the same record as Costa Rica, while Mexico also has seven points but has played one more game. The top three qualify automatically for Brazil 2014 while the fourth-placed nation currently Panama after the 0-0 home draw against Mexico enters a further intercontinental playoff. Costa Rica beat Honduras 1-0 thanks to a 25th minute goal by New York Red Bulls defender Roy Miller.
The result left Honduras in fifth place, two points behind Panama, who secured a creditable home draw against Mexico. Jamaica is last in the group with just two points from five games, leaving the Reggae Boyz a mountain to climb in the remaining five qualifyingmatches. The next round of games is on Tuesday when Mexico hosts Costa Rica, Honduras is at home against Jamaica and Panama travels to take on the United States.