A quick look around the CONCACAF region and to UEFA where Fire midfielder Joel Lindpere appeared for Estonia Friday night.
U.S. freezes out Costa Rica
Blizzard conditions could only momentarily stop the Americans earning their first points of the CONCACAF final round Hexagonal as Clint Dempsey’s 15th minute goal was enough to lead the side past Costa Rica 1-0 in Commerce City, Colo.
There was nothing pretty about the win but after a difficult week of press, Jurgen Klinsmann’s side showed character in responding to the difficult conditions outside Denver.
Former Fire winger DaMarcus Beasley filled in at left back and earned Man of the Match honors while former PDL goalkeeper Brad Guzan made five saves for the clean sheet in replacement of Tim Howard. Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson was an unused substitute in the match.
With three points, the U.S. sits second in the six-team group, one point behind Honduras as they head to The Azteca to take on Mexico Tuesday night while last-place Costa Rica (one point) will host Jamaica.
Lindpere plays 13 minutes for Estonia vs. Netherlands
In what was always going to be a difficult match, Estonia battled and held the 2010 World Cup finalists scoreless through the first 45 minutes in Amsterdam.
That would change just after the half when Rafael van der Vaart finished from 10 yards in the 46th minute. Manchester United striker Robin van Persie tallied an insurance strike in the 71st minute to give Holland a 2-0 lead.
In the 77th minute, Fire midfielder Joel Lindpere entered for Henrik Ojamaa but Holland would find a third goal from Ruben Schaaken in the 83rd minute to give the home side a 3-0 win.
Estonia sit fifth with three points in their first five matches in UEFA’s Group D. Lindpere and Co. welcome bottom-sitting Andorra to Tallinn on Tuesday.
Honduras battles back to earn draw vs. Mexico
With Javier Hernandez goals on both sides of halftime (28th and 54th minutes), Mexico seemed to be cruising to three points on the road in San Pedro Sula but los Catrachos had other ideas.
Former Houston Dynamo striker Carlos Costly rose up at the back post to head home Mario Martinez’s corner in the 77th minute to take the match to 2-1.
Shortly after Costly drew a penalty kick and New England’s Jerry Bengtson saw his first ever saved by Mexico ‘keeper Guillermo Ochoa before blasting home the rebound to make it 2-2 in the 84th minute.
Honduras sit top of the group with four points as they head into their first road game of the Hex on Tuesday in Panama. Mexico sit tied for third with two points in as many matches.
Panama earn road point in Kingston
In the other game of the round, Jamaica’s Marvin Elliott nodded the Reggae Boyz ahead in the 22nd in Kingston before Luis Henriquez equalized past Portland’s Donovan Ricketts in the 65th minute to earn a 1-1 draw.
Panama and Jamaica both sit tied for third with Mexico with two points heading into Matchday Three on Tuesday.