The United States eliminated Jamaica from World Cup qualifying by earning a 1-1 tie last night in Columbus, Ohio.
For the Americans, the match was merely a tune-up and a chance to give several young players World Cup qualifying experience. The Americans, who got a goal from Eddie Johnson, won a spot in next year's six-team regional finals with a 6-0 win over Panama last month.
Panama advanced to the regional finals with a 3-0 win over El Salvador yesterday. Jamaica would have advanced with a win, or a tie coupled with a Panama tie or loss; instead, it failed to qualify for the World Cup for the second consecutive time.
"This game wasn't about us eliminating Jamaica. This game was about us playing and trying to win," coach Bruce Arena said.
Johnson scored in the 15th minute for the Americans on a lofting pass from Pablo Mastroeni. Johnson, a forward for the Dallas Burn of MLS, has scored five goals in only 61 minutes of play on the U.S. team.
"Eddie's done great. He just adds a totally different dimension that we don't have," striker Brian McBride said.
The Jamaicans evened the score after a defensive miscue by an American player making his first World Cup qualifying appearance. Ramiro Corrales threw himself in front of Ricardo Fuller to break up a run to the goal. Andy Williams's penalty kick in the 27th minute sailed low past a diving Kasey Keller.
Wet grass -- there had been heavy rain all day -- contributed to the physical play that dominated throughout. There were 39 fouls -- 13 for the Americans and 26 for Jamaica.
The Jamaicans played with the ferocity of a team that had everything to lose, winning the ball in the air and challenging the U.S. defense in the second half by pulling all of their players up the field. The Americans came back in the second half with two forwards instead of three, and bunkered in front of the goal to prevent a loss.
The United States extended its unbeaten streak to 13 games, the longest in team history. Its only loss in 2004 was to the Netherlands in February.
* ECUADOR 1, BRAZIL 0: Ecuador's Edison Mendez scored a goal in the second half to lift the host team to an upset of defending World Cup champion Brazil.
The loss in Quito was Brazil's first in South American qualifying for the 2006 tournament.
Ecuador moved into a tie for third place with Paraguay in the 10-team standings. Brazil dropped to second in the standings.
* ARGENTINA 3, VENEZUELA 2: Juan Roman Riquelme and Javier Saviola scored to move host Argentina ahead of Brazil in South American qualifying. Argentina got an early break when Venezuela defender Jose Rey scored an own-goal, heading in a free kick by Riquelme in the 25th minute.
* CHINA 7, HONG KONG 0: Despite a lopsided win at home, host China was eliminated from World Cup qualifying by Kuwait in Asia's Group Four. Kuwait won on the fifth tiebreaker -- having more total goals (15) than China (14) in the qualifying round.
Also, South Korea beat the Maldives, 2-0, in Seoul to win Asia's Group Seven. Iran won Group One by defeating Laos, 7-0.