Victory the only option for Klinsmann PDF Print E-mail

The United States will be desperate to get their World Cup qualifying campaign back on track when they face lowly Antigua and Barbuda in St Johns on Friday.


Defeat to Jamaica last time out has left them level on seven points with Guatemala and the Reggae Boys in Group A. The USA have just two matches left to go through to the fourth round from the pool, although coach Jurgen Klinsmann is confident they will not blow their chance.


"We have to win these two final games,'' Klinsmann said. "But we are facing them like finals and I'm sure that every player will give 110%.''


Injuries have not helped the Americans' cause, with defenders Fabian Johnson and Egar Castillo and midfielder duo Brek Shea and Landon Donovan all sidelined.


Guatemala and Jamaica will meet in Guatemala City, where a win for either side would provide an enormous boost to their chances of qualifying.


Jamaica face Antigua and Barbuda in the final round of matches while Guatemala take on the United States in what could prove to be a vital fixture. The USA failing to make the next round of qualifying, never mind the finals, is unthinkable.


In Group B, Mexico, who are already through to the next round, will be looking to maintain their perfect record when they take on basement side Guyana.


However, coach Jose Manuel De La Torre warned: "Ever since I was a boy I learned that you play football to win, and we mustn't relax despite the fact we are already qualified.''


De La Torre will use the match to give some of his younger players the chance to show what they can do, including members of the gold-medal winning team at this summer's Olympic Games.


Manchester United forward Javier Hernandez said: "We face this match with the same responsibility as the previous ones, when we weren't qualified. And you can be sure that we will give our best.''


Also in Group B, El Salvador host Costa Rica with the two teams fighting it out for second spot in the standings.


El Salvador close out their campaign with a trip to Mexico, while Costa Rica have a much easier task against Guyana, and midfielder Cristian Bolanos said: "Here in the Costa Rican team we always suffer from pressure, so we know how to handle it and are confident of qualifying.''


Group C leaders Panama can make certain of progress with a victory at home to nearest challengers Honduras.


Panama hold a two-point advantage over the Hondurans and Canada, who take on winless Cuba in Toronto.


A place in Brazil in 2014 would give everyone a welcome lift, according to Panama coach Julio Dely Valdez. But they would still need to navigate the fourth and final round of qualifying to achieve this.


"This could be a huge moment for our football team, therefore it is crucial we have the support of our fans at Rommel Fernandez stadium,'' he said.



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