KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Graham Zusi and Jozy Altidore scored second-half goals to give the United States a 2-0 victory over Jamaica on Friday night and clinch first place for the Americans in their World Cup qualifying group for the third straight cycle.
The sides had played to a stalemate through the first 77 minutes before Alejandro Bedoya got the ball on the wing. He crossed to Zusi, whose shot from about 12 yards beat goalkeeper DuWayne Kerr and ignited his home-team crowd of 18,467 decked out in red, white and blue.
Fans packed into Sporting Park had barely settled back down before Edgar Castillo, like Zusi a second-half substitute, found Altidore in front of an open net for another goal in the 81st minute. Altidore scored for his sixth straight international start.
The U.S. (6-2-1), which clinched its seventh straight World Cup berth last month, has 19 points and a four-point lead over second-place Costa Rica (4-2-3), which lost 1-0 at third-place Honduras (4-3-2).
Jamaica (0-5-4), whose only World Cup appearance was in 1998, was eliminated.