Canada advanced to the semifinals of World Cup qualifying in the North and Central American and Caribbean region, defeating St. Vincent and the Grenadines 4-1 Friday night. Dwayne De Rosario and Ali Gerba scored two goals each for Canada, which won the home-and-home, total-goals series on 7-1 aggregate.
Canada will be in a semifinal group with Jamaica, Honduras and likely Mexico, which hosts Belize on Saturday night following a 2-0 victory in the first leg.
Mexico strolled into the group stage of the CONCACAF zone World Cup qualifiers with a 7-0 demolition of tiny neighbours Belize on Saturday. They were joined by Costa Rica, who ended a 14-match winless streak by beating Grenada 3-0, and Guatemala, who beat St Lucia 3-1, in the second preliminary round second leg ties.
Midfielder Fernando Arce and striker Jared Borgetti scored twice each to help Mexico to a comfortable win in Monterrey. Carlos Vela and Andres Guardado shared a goal apiece while Belize’s Trevor Lennen put through his own goal as Mexico completed a 9-0 aggregate win.
The game was Mexico’s last under caretaker coach Jesus Ramirez, who will be replaced by former England coach Sven Goran-Eriksson.
Costa Rica, who have qualified for the last two World Cups, completed a harder than expected 5-2 aggregate win over the Caribbean islanders of Grenada. lvaro Saborio and Brian Ruiz scored in the first half hour to put the Ticos on the way to their first win since they beat Chile in a friendly just over a year ago.
Randall Azofeifa added a third in the 89th minute for relieved Costa Rica, who found themselves 2-0 down in the first leg before hitting back to draw 2-2.
Guatemala beat St Lucia 9-1 on aggregate with their win in Los Angeles, where the Caribbean side were technically at home. Two goals from Gonzalo Romero put the Central Americans in charge before Kenwen McPhee reduced the arrears at the end of the first half. Abner Trigueros completed the scoring four minutes from the end for Guatemala, who have never played at the World Cup finals