The United States created the better of the chances in the first half, and outshot Guatemala 8-3 in the opening 45 minutes, but neither team seriously threatened the goal. The best chances for the United States came from long-range shots by Claudio Reyna and Jovan Kirovski in the first 20 minutes, and on a McBride header following a short corner kick in the closing moments of the half.
Despite a 65th minute red card to the USA's Eddie Lewis that reduced the home team to ten men, the United States fought to press the attack in search of the tying goal. Referee Ulises Rangel, from Mexico, issued the red card for an apparent elbow to Guatemala's Fabricio Benitez.
The complexion of the match changed after the Lewis ejection, which came less than ten minutes after the United States had made a pair of substitutions in an attempt to jump-start the offense. In the 57th minute head coach Bruce Arena inserted Jones into the lineup in place of Earnie Stewart, who will miss the next match after picking up his second yellow card of the semifinal qualifying round, and replaced defender Tony Sanneh in favor of the midfielder Lewis.
After some tactical maneuvering that saw Arena move defensive midfielder John O'Brien into Lewis' left flank spot, the United States nearly missed on one of the game's best scoring chances when O'Brien's great touch to Jones in the penalty area almost resulted in a 70th minute goal.
The two teams combined for 30 fouls in a physical match that saw cautions issued to Guatemala's Julio Giron, Everaldo Valencia and Dwight Pezzarossi. David Regis and Earnie Stewart of the United States were also shown the yellow card.
McBride scored the eventual game-winner after Jovan Kirovski found Jones at the corner of the 18-yard box. Jones lofted a pin-point accurate ball across the box to the far post where a lunging McBride was able to connect with his left foot. For McBride, the goal was his 13th in 45 international appearances, and his second in as many qualifying games this year.
Goalkeeper Kasey Keller, making his return to the lineup after a one game absence, recorded his third shutout of the year and the 19th in his 45-game international career. Guatemala recorded eight shots on the day, forcing Keller to make three saves.
The United States was encouraged by a huge showing from a pro-USA crowd, who filled the lower bowl of RFK Stadium with a sea of red shirts in support of the home team. The crowd was the largest ever for the full Men's National Team at RFK, and the third largest to witness a qualifying match in the United States.
With the three points, the United States greatly improves its chances of qualifying for the 2002 World Cup in Korea/Japan, and after four games of qualifying action remains the only team in the group to have taken points on the road. The top two teams from each of the three semifinal qualifying groups will advance to the next round, from which the three CONCACAF representatives for World Cup 2002 will be determined.
The United States will next meet Costa Rica at Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio in World Cup qualifying action, on October 11 at 8:00 p.m. That match, the third of three consecutive home qualifying matches for the USA, will be seen live on ESPN.
2000 U.S. MEN'S NATIONAL TEAM GAME REPORT
|Participants:||U.S. Men's National Team vs. Guatemala National Team|
|Competition:||2002 World Cup CONCACAF Qualifying - Semifinal Round, Group E|
|Venue:||RFK Stadium (Washington, D.C.)|
|Date:||September 3, 2000 - Kickoff 2 p.m. (ET)|
|Weather:||84 degrees - Cloudy, Humid|
USA - Brian McBride, (Cobi Jones), 72.
USA - 18-Kasey Keller; 17-Tony Sanneh (13-Cobi Jones, 57), 3-Gregg Berhalter, 23-Eddie Pope, 6-David Regis; 8-Earnie Stewart (7-Eddie Lewis, 57), 5-John O'Brien, 10-Claudio Reyna (Capt.) (Carlos Llamosa, 77), 19-Jovan Kirovski; 20-Brian McBride, 9-Joe-Max Moore.
GUA - 1-Edgar Estrada; 3-Erick Miranda, 4-Luis Swisher (20-Fredy Garcia, 74), 6-Julio Giron; 17-German Ruano, 10-Juan Manuel Funes (11-Guillermo Ramirez, 64), 7-Fabricio Benitez, 19-Everaldo Valencia, 16-Martin Machon; 15-Juan Carlos Plata (18-Mario Acevedo, 37), 14-Dwight Pezzarossi.
|Julio Giron (caution)||20,|
|David Regis (caution)||26,|
|Earnie Stewart (caution)||32,|
|Eddie Lewis (ejection)||65,|
|Everaldo Valencia (caution)||73,|
|Dwight Pessarossi (caution)||89.|
Chevrolet Man of the Match: Brian McBride.
NOTES AND MILESTONES
- Brian McBride moves into second place on the USA's all-time qualifying scoring register with six goals in eight games, one behind Will Roy who scored seven goals in 11 games between 1966 and 1974.
- After four games of qualifying action the USA remains the only team in the group to have taken points on the road.
- With the goal, McBride now has six in 533 minutes of qualifying action, for an average of better than one goal per game.
- The USA will be without the services of both Eddie Lewis and Earnie Stewart for the Costa Rica match in Columbus on October 11, as each will be serving one-game suspensions.
- Less than 5,000 tickets remain for the United States' final home qualifier of 2000, when the team will meet Costa Rica in its first visit to Columbus Crew Stadium on October 11.
- Jones' assist was his eighth of the year, increasing his national team record for assists in a year.
- The United States is now unbeaten in 15 consecutive home qualifying matches, and has not lost to Guatemala since January 10, 1988, a stretch of 10 games.
- Jones extended his streak of 14 consecutive games played for the United States, the longest consecutive games-played streak on the national team.