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WCQ Recap: Third Round, First Leg
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(ABOVE) Players from Nicaragua celebrate after scoring against host Jamaica in a World Cup qualifier on September 4, 2015, in Kingston.

MIAMI – On a day of two upsets and a close call, World Cup Qualifying in CONCACAF for Russia 2018 resumed Friday with six third-round, first-leg games. 

The biggest surprise of the day was 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup runner-up Jamaica falling 3-2 at home to Nicaragua, while Canada improved to a perfect 3-0-0 with a 3-0 win over visiting Belize.

CONCACAF.com recaps all the action:

2018 WORLD CUP QUALIFYING - THIRD ROUND, FIRST LEG (all games played September 4, 2015)

Arnos Vale Playing Field – Kingstown, St. Vincent & the Grenadines (A: 4,100)

St. Vincent & the Grenadines-Aruba 2:0 (0:0)

Tevin Slater 50’; Oalex Anderson 89’ pen 

After a pair of second-round draws with Guyana, St. Vincent & Grenadines defeated visiting Aruba 2-0 for its first win of 2018 World Cup Qualifying. Tevin Slater (50’) put the host ahead five minutes into the second half with his team-best fourth goal of the competition. With a minute left in normal time, Oalex Anderson (89’ pen) converted a penalty to seal the result. 

2nd leg: September 8 (Complejo Guillermo Prospero Trinidad – Oranjestad, Aruba) 

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Grenada National Stadium – St. George’s, Grenada (A: 5,100)

Grenada-Haiti 1:3 (1:2)

Anthony Straker 33’ pen / Jean-Eudes Maurice 27’; Mechak Jerome 39’; Duckens Nazon 55’ 

Haiti opened its 2018 World Cup Qualifying campaign much in the same impressive way it performed at July’s CONCACAF Gold Cup, posting a 3-1 win over host Grenada. Les Grenadiers led 2-1 at halftime thanks to goals by Jean-Eudes Maurice (27’) and Mechak Jerome (39’), while Duckens Nazon (55’) – who scored twice in the Gold Cup – completed the scoreline 10 minutes into the second half. York City’s Anthony Straker (33’ pen) converted a penalty kick for Grenada’s only goal 

2nd leg: September 8 (Stade Sylvio Cator – Port-au-Prince, Haiti) 

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Stadion Ergilio Hato – Willemstad, Curacao

Curacao-El Salvador 0:1 (0-1)

Alexander Larin 12’

Alexander Larin (12’) chipped a superb through ball by Jose Peña over goalkeeper Eloy Room to give visiting El Salvador a 1-0 win over Curacao. The host was shutout at home for the second straight time in the competition, while the Central Americans won in Jorge Rodriguez’s debut as head coach. 

2nd leg: September 8 (Estadio Cuscatlan – San Salvador, El Salvador) 

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BMO Field – Toronto, Canada (A: 10,412)

Canada-Belize 3:0 (1:0)

Tosaint Ricketts 25’, 65’; Atiba Hutchinson 90’ 

Tosaint Ricketts (25’, 65’) struck for a brace in his second straight World Cup qualifier as Canada earned a 3-0 win over visiting Belize. The 28-year-old scored in each half to give the host a 2-0 lead, while Atiba Hutchinson (90’) completed the scoreline in the last minute of normal for his sixth career international goal. The Canadians went scoreless in three 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup games, but it has already netted nine times in three qualifiers, all wins by shutout. 

2nd leg: September 8 (FFB Stadium – Belmopan, Belize) 

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Sir Vivian Richards Stadium – North Sound, Antigua & Barbuda (A: 7,005)

Antigua & Barbuda-Guatemala 1:0 (0:0)

Myles Weston 74’ pen 

Guatemala’s offensive struggles continued as it fell 1-0 at Antigua & Barbuda. Myles Weston (74’ pen) converted a second-half penalty kick for the only goal. Wilson Lalin was whistled for a handball in the box after Joshua Parker’s fine individual effort. The Central American side, which scored only once in three 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup games, was shutout for the second time in three 2018 World Cup Qualifying outings. 

2nd leg: September 8 (Estadio Mateo Flores – Guatemala City, Guatemala) 

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National Stadium – Kingston, Jamaica (A: 18,300)

Jamaica-Nicaragua 2:3 (0:2)

Darren Mattocks 69’; Adrian Mariappa 78’ / Manuel Rosas 4’ pen; Carlos Chavarria 7’; Luis Galeano 47’ 

CONCACAF Gold Cup runner-up Jamaica was dealt a blow in its first 2018 World Cup qualifier, falling 3-2 at home to Nicaragua. Goals by Manuel Rosas (4’ pen), Carlos Chavarria (7’) and Luis Galeano (47’) gave the visitor a surprise 3-0 lead. The Reggae Boyz staged a furious rally that saw Darren Mattocks (69’) and Adrian Mariappa (78’) find the back net, but it wasn’t enough as Pinolero goalkeeper Justo Llorente produced a string of tremendous saves to preserve the victory. The impressive Chavarria, 21, extended his scoring streak in qualifiers to three games. 

2nd leg: September 8 (Estadio Nacional – Managua, Nicaragua)

 
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