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Mexico and Jamaica revive World Cup hopes with wins

© Reuters Limited 2001

MEXICO CITY, July 1 (Reuters) - Mexico and Jamaica clawed their way back into the race for a place at next year's World Cup at the weekend while Costa Rica are on the brink of qualifying after a 3-2 win in Honduras.

Jesus Arrellano of Mexico (R) and Ernie Stewart of the USA fight for the ball during their World Cup qualifier in Mexico City's Azteca stadium July 1, 2001. Mexico won 1-0.
Photo Daniel Aguilar, Reuters
Mexico ended a run of six successive defeats at they beat the United States 1-0 at the Azteca stadium on coach Javier Aguirre's debut.

Jamaica, coming face to face with former mentor Rene Simoes, came from behind to win 2-1 against Trinidad while Costa Rica scored a late winner to beat Honduras 3-2 away after earlier throwing away a two-goal lead.

The results put Costa Rica top of the group, ahead of the United States on goals scored.

Both teams have 13 points from six games and, with a five point advantage over the pack, seem almost certain to go to Japan and South Korea next year.

Honduras, Jamaica and Mexico are fighting tooth and nail for the third and final place in the group.

Honduras remained third with eight points but their defeat allowed the chasers to close the gap and they are now ahead of Jamaica on goal difference and only one point clear of Mexico.

A single goal by Jared Borgetti in the 15th minute ended the United States' unbeaten record and put the Mexicans back on course.

Aguirre, Mexico's third coach in less than one year, made sweeping changes to the team which lost to Honduras ten days ago.

It was a generally dull game, a sharp contrast to the pulsating game in Tegucigalpa where an 83rd goal by Mauricio Solis won the match for the visitors.

Paulo Wanchope and Rolando Fonseca had put the Ticos 2-0 ahead in 13 minutes after some slack defending but Honduras hit back before halftime with two goals from Amada Guevara, the first a penalty.

Jamaica's win came as Rene Simoes, the man who guided them to the 1998 World Cup, made his debut in charge of Trinidad in a game played Saturday.

Stern John put the Soca Warriors ahead in Port of Spain before Onandi Lowe and Deon Burton gave the Reggae Boyz the three points.

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