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Mexico improves to 2-0 in World Cup qualifying

Associated Press

Published: Tuesday, June 12 2012 10:35 p.m. MDT

South Korea's Lee Keun-ho, left, fights for the ball against Lebanon's Ramez Dayoub during their group A final round of Asia qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil in Goyang, South Korea, Tuesday, June 12, 2012. South Korea defeated Lebanon 3-0.

Lee Jin-man, Associated Press

Mexico improved to 2-0 in World Cup qualifying, winning 2-1 at El Salvador on Tuesday night.

Jesus Zavala put Mexico ahead in the 60th minute, but Alfredo Pacheco tied the score five minutes later with a goal on a free kick. Hector Moreno put El Tri back ahead in the 85th.

Mexico leads Group B of North and Central America and the Caribbean with six points, followed by Costa Rica (1-0-1) with four and El Salvador (0-1-1). Guyana (0-2) is last following a 4-0 loss at home to Costa Rica. Alvaro Saboria scored in the 20th, 26th and 52nd minutes, and Joel Campbell added a goal in the 72nd.

In Group C, Canada was held to a 0-0 tie by visiting Honduras, and Panana won 1-0 at home over Cuba on Nelson Barahona's goal in the 58th minute. Panama (2-0) has six points, followed by Canada (1-0-1) with four and Honduras (0-1-1) with one, Cuba (0-2) is last.

In Group A, Antigua and Barbuda tied 0-0 at home against Jamaica and Guatemala scored a late goal for a 1-1 tie against the United States. Clint Dempsey's 40th-minute goal put the Americans ahead, but Marco Pappa of the Chicago Fire tied it with a goal off a free kick in the 83rd. The U.S. (1-0-1) leads on goal difference over Jamaica (1-0-1). Guatemala and Antigua and Barbuda (0-0-1) follow with one point each.

The top two teams in each of the three groups advance to next year's regional finals. The top three teams qualify for the 2014 tournament in Brazil, and the fourth-place team goes to a playoff.

In Asia, powers Japan, South Korea and Australia took steps toward qualifying while Iran drew 0-0 with Qatar.

Japan played to a 1-1 tie at Australia, which was a man down for most of the second half. Japan tops Group B with seven points from two games. Australia is second with two points from two games. Iraq and Oman also have two points after drawing 1-1.

South Korea won 3-0 at visiting Lebanon and is 2-0 to lead Group A. Iran and Qatar are two points behind. Lebanon and Uzbekistan have one point each and must now struggle to qualify.

Iraq cannot host international games because of safety concerns. The temperature for much of the game was 104 degrees.

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