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Costa Rica Takes Lead in U.S. Group

August 16, 2000

Costa Rica took over first place in the World Cup qualifying group that includes the United States, beating visiting Guatemala 2-1 Tuesday on a pair of goals by Paulo Wanchope.

At Alajuela, Wanchope scored on a diving header in the 33rd minute off a cross from Hernan Medford, then made it 2-0 in the 58th minute.

Dwight Pezzarossi scored in the 66th minute for Guatemala.

Costa Rica (2-1) leads Group E of the semifinals of the North and Central American and Caribbean region with six points, followed by Guatemala (1-1-1) with four points, Barbados (1-1) with three and the United States (0-1-1).

Barbados and the United States play Wednesday night at Foxboro, Mass. Each team plays six games in the semifinals, and the top two teams in each group advance to next year’s six-nation regional finals.

In Tuesday’s other game in the region, Mexico beat visiting Canada 2-0 in Group C.

Wednesday’s schedule also has Panama at Trinidad and Tobago in Group C, and El Salvador at Jamaica and St. Vincent and the Grenadines at Honduras in Group D.

In South American qualifiers Tuesday night, Brazil was at Chile and Uruguay at Colombia. On Wednesday, it’s Bolivia at Ecuador, Paraguay at Argentina and Venezuela at Peru.

Also Wednesday, Andorra is at Estonia in the opening European qualifier.

At Mexico City, Jose Manuel Abundis converted a cross from Miguel Zepeda two minutes into the second half and Canada’s Paul Fenwick accidentally headed a free kick from Pavel Pardo into his own goal in the 81st minute.

Trinidad and Tobago (2-0) and Mexico (2-1) each have six points, while Panama (0-1-1) and Canada (0-2-1) have one apiece.

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