Guatemala City, Guatemala
Clint Dempsey gave the United States a lead but one goal was not enough to escape Guatemala with a victory.
Dempsey's first-half strike was the U.S.'s lone goal in a 1-1 draw at Guatemala in a CONCACAF 2014 World Cup qualifier match.
The U.S. took the lead on Dempsey's finish in front of the goal in the 40th minute and looked primed to take home three points as they held the lead late into the second half.
Usually a road tie is not such a bad thing against a South American side but the U.S. came into the match ranked 28th in the world as opposed to 85th for the Guatemalans. The Americans did extend their unbeaten streak against Guatemala to 18 matches.
Guatemala caught two breaks that enabled them to score the equalizer. First, Jozy Altidore scored in the 79th minute but referee Joel Aguilar of El Salvador whistled the play dead for a foul on Guatemala, refusing to let the U.S. play on with the advantage.
Then Fabian Johnson pulled down Carlos Ruiz just outside the penalty are, setting up a free kick that Marco Pappa, a Chicago Fire midfielder, fired just under the crossbar to beat U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard.
''When you control the game the way we did, especially after we scored the goal and passed around the ball really well, you're a bit disappointed when something like that happens,'' U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann said. ''But overall it was a good game from our end. I'm happy with the performance. I would love three points but I will take it the way it is."
The U.S. (1-0-1) leads Group A of North and Central America and the Caribbean on goal differential ahead of Jamaica (1-0-1), which tied 0-0 tie at Antigua and Barbuda. Guatemala (0-1-1) and Antigua (0-1-1) each have one point.
The top two teams advance to the six-nation regional finals next year. Three qualifiers will come out of that group for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
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