Jordan remain in contention

Jordan remain in contention

United States stay on pole with Honduras victory

Jordan’s hopes of a first World Cup finals appearance remain alive after they beat Oman 1-0 here on Tuesday to book a qualifying playoff against Uzbekistan in September. 

Striker Ahmad Ibrahim scored the winning goal in the 57th minute, stooping low to head home a cross from Khalil Bani Ateyah that drew wild celebrations at the King Abdullah Stadium.

The victory, in the last of the Asian group stage matches, meant Jordan leapfrogged Oman into third place in Group B on 10 points, one ahead of Paul Le Guen’s side. Jordan will now take on Uzbekistan, who finished th
ird in Group A, with the first leg to be played on September 6 and the second on Sept 10. 

The winners advance to play another two-leg playoff against the fifth-placed South American side in November for a place at the finals. 

Few predicted Jordan would still be in contention after they were hammered 6-0 away to Japan in their second group match last year, but they defied their FIFA ranking of 75th with strong performances at home. 

Having despatched Australia and Japan in Amman, Jordan knew another three points were required against Oman to claim the playoff berth but they started Tuesday’s match in scratchy fashion. 

US stay on top

The United States maintained their push for a World Cup berth with a third straight victory in the final round of CONCACAF qualifying after Jozy Altidore’s late strike saw off a stubborn Honduras 1-0 on Tuesday. 

Altidore’s 73rd minute goal was the difference between the teams at Rio Tinto Stadium as the home side were rewarded for their domination to complete a trio of June fixtures with a 100 percent record after wins over Jamaica and Panama. 

Bryan Ruiz and Celso Borges scored second-half goals as Costa Rica earned a 2-0 win against Panama to maintain their hold on a place for an automatic qualifying place.

The US head the six-team group on 13 points from six matches with the top three qualifying automatically for Brazil and the fourth-placed side, currently Honduras on seven points, facing New Zealand in a two-legged playoff for a finals berth. 

Costa Rica have 11 points from six matches while Mexico are in the third with eight points from six games.