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U.S. soccer team closes in on another World Cup berth

Thu., Sept. 10, 2009

The United States moved within a win of its sixth straight World Cup appearance, beating Trinidad and Tobago 1-0 Wednesday night on Ricardo Clark’s goal in the 62nd minute in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad.

The United States failed to win its first three road qualifiers this year and played a listless first half. The Americans went ahead when Clint Dempsey played the ball wide to Landon Donovan, who cut the ball back to Clark.

Clark took a touch and let loose a bending 26-yard shot that swerved past goalkeeper Clayton Ince. It was just the second goal in 25 international appearances for the Houston Dynamo midfielder.

The United States (5-2-1) moved into first place in the final round of North and Central American and Caribbean qualifying with 16 points.

Elsewhere, England, European champion Spain and Paraguay clinched World Cup berths with two games to spare.

Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard scored two goals each, leading England over visiting Croatia 5-1 at Wembley.

Cesc Fabregas, Santi Cazorla and Juanma Mata scored for Spain is a 3-0 home victory over Estonia.

Nelson Valdez scored in the 27th minute for Paraguay, which clinched its fourth straight World Cup appearance with a 1-0 win over Argentina.

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