Johnson scores late to lead U.S. to victory in Cup qualifier

U.S. midfielder Eddie Johnson (18) celebrates one of his two goals against Antigua and Barbuda. RICARDO ARDUENGO / AP
U.S. midfielder Eddie Johnson (18) celebrates one of his two goals against Antigua and Barbuda. RICARDO ARDUENGO / AP
Posted: October 14, 2012

ST. JOHN'S, Antigua - In his first game back with the U.S. national team, Eddie Johnson scored twice on Friday night, including the winning goal in second-half injury time, to lift the United States to the verge of advancing in World Cup qualifying with a nervous, 2-1 road win in the rain over Antigua and Barbuda.

Johnson connected on headers in the 20th minute and then in the dying moments in his first game for the U.S. team in two years. He was added to the squad by coach Jurgen Klinsmann, ostensibly replacing the disappointing Jozy Altidore.

Until Johnson's second goal, the Americans struggled, particularly with the wind in their face on the wet cricket pitch at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.

Meanwhile, former Union striker Carlos Ruiz scored in the 85th minute to lift Guatemala to a 2-1 home win over Jamaica. If the Americans get a draw with Guatemala on Tuesday night in Kansas City, Kan., they will move into the final round of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

In other CONCACAF qualifiers, Andres Guardado and Oribe Peralta finally got Mexico going with two late goals on the way to El Tri's 5-0 rout of Guyana in Houston. In Toronto, Canada grabbed a 3-0 home win over Cuba, which only dressed 11 players.

Elsewhere: England's Wayne Rooney had two goals in a 5-0 win over San Marino in London, taking his goal total in international matches to 31, fifth on his country's all-time list. . . . Gareth Bale scored twice as Wales topped Scotland, 2-1, in Cardiff. . . . Spain's Pedro Rodriguez scored three in a 4-0 rout of host Belarus.

Alexander Kerzhakov scored in the sixth minute, and Russia made it stand up for a 1-0 win over Portugal in Moscow. . . . Christian Benteke, Kevin De Bruyne, and Kevin Mirallas tallied as Belgium notched a 3-0 win over Serbia in Belgrade - the Serbs' first home World Cup qualifying loss in more than 10 years. . . . Marco Reus and Mesut Özil each scored twice in a 6-1 humiliation of Ireland in Dublin. . . . Tomer Hemed had a hat-trick as visiting Israel easily handled Luxembourg, 6-0.

In South America, Lionel Messi had two goals and Sergio Aguero added one to lead host Argentina to a 3-0 win over Uruguay in Mendoza. Host Colombia got two second-half goals from Radamel Falcao to beat Paraguay, 2-0, in Barranquilla.

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