Los Angeles, March 26: Guatemala dealt a lackluster United States a devastating 2-0 defeat in a 2018 World Cup qualifier on Friday in Guatemala City.
With goals in the first 15 minutes from Rafael Morales and Carlos Ruiz and an outstanding performance from goalkeeper Paulo Motta, Guatemala earned their first ever World Cup qualifying victory over the USA and leapfrogged over Jurgen Klinsmann's men into second place in Group C in the fourth round of qualifying in North and Central America (CONCACAF).
Klinsmann had been bullish heading into the match -- the first of two in five days against Guatemala -- saying he was hoping for maximum points so the United States could secure their spot in the final "Hexagonal" phase of qualifying before turning their attention to the Copa America Centenario.
Instead the Americans will be in damage control mode when they host Guatemala in Columbus, Ohio, on Tuesday.
Guatemala got off to a dream start when Morales rose for a corner and nodded it off the back of Mix Diskerud and past US goalkeeper Tim Howard in the seventh minute.
Ruiz made it 2-0 in the 15th when a long goal kick from Motta rolled untouched past the US defence, Ruiz racing onto it and beating Howard.
"For us it's obviously disappointing," said Klinsmann, who praised the play of Guatemala but said the United States made "too many mistakes".
"On the international level you cannot make the mistakes that led into the two goals, you simply cannot allow that," he said, noting that the near post was left unguarded on the corner that produced Morales' goal.
"The second goal was a sequence of mistakes," said Klinsmann, as a succession of US players failed to pick up the ball leading to Ruiz's chance. ?AFP