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WCQ Recap: Third Round, Second Leg
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Jamaica's Simon Dawkins (#18) is mobbed by teammates after scoring the World Cup Qualifying series-clinching goal against host Nicaragua on September 8, 2015, in Managua. (Photo: www.pinolerosports.com)

MIAMI – On a night that saw Jamaica and Guatemala recover from first-leg deficits, the third round of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup concluded Tuesday with six sides advancing to the first group stage.

Simon Dawkins’ goal in the 89th minute gave Jamaica a 2-0 win over host Nicaragua, lifting the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup runner-up to a 4-3 aggregate triumph.

Guatemala overcame a 1-0 loss on the road to Antigua & Barbuda by netting twice in the second half at home to earn a fourth-round berth, 2-1 on aggregate.

El Salvador and Haiti completed series sweeps with wins, Canada notched the draw it needed, while St. Vincent & Grenadines progressed despite a loss at Aruba.

CONCACAF.com recaps all the action:

2018 WORLD CUP QUALIFYING - THIRD ROUND, SECOND LEG (all games played September 8, 2015)

Complejo Guillermo Prospero Trinidad – Oranjestad, Aruba (A: 950)

Aruba-St. Vincent & the Grenadines 2-1 (1-0)

Erixon Danso 4’, 50’ / Tevin Slater 84’

St. Vincent & the Grenadines advances (agg: 3-2)

Host Aruba erased a two-goal deficit within the opening 50 minutes thanks to a pair of strikes by Erixon Danso (4’, 50’). With the series even at 2-2, Tevin Slater (84’) -- like he’s done so often through qualifying -- found the back of the net with six minutes remaining in normal time to give St. Vincent & the Grenadines (SVG) the goal it need to advance. The 21-year-old striker chipped over goalkeeper Eric Abdul from 10-yards out after being released down the middle from a long ball out of the back. Slater has scored in each of SVG’s four 2018 WCQs, giving him five goals. Despite winning only once in four outings, the Vincy Heat earned a berth in the fourth round, where it will face Group C opponents United States, Trinidad & Tobago and Guatemala.

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Stade Sylvio Cator – Port-au-Prince, Haiti (A: 13,764)

Haiti-Grenada 3-0 (2-0)

Wilde-Donald Guerrier 26’; Duckens Nazon 37’; Kervens Belfort 49’

Haiti advances (agg: 6-1)

For the second time in as many games against Grenada, Haiti scored twice in the first half and once after the break en route to 3-0 win and a 6-1 aggregate triumph. Wilde-Donald Guerrier (26’) struck for the opener from four-yards out to give Les Grenadiers a 1-0 lead after Duckens Nazon rounded goalkeeper Jason Belfon. Nazon (37’) doubled the advantage 11 minutes later, netting in a second straight game by eluding Belfon again and slotting home from seven yards. Four minutes into the second half, Kervens Belfort latched on to a ball on the left, beat Belfon – who wandered out of the box – and left-footed into a wide open net to make it 3-0. Haiti will face Group B opponents Costa Rica, Panama and Jamaica in the fourth round.

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Estadio Cuscatlan – San Salvador, El Salvador (A: 27,884)

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

Jonathan Barrios 8’

El Salvador advances (agg: 2-0)

Jorge Rodriguez kicked off his tenure as El Salvador’s head coach with two straight wins as the Cuscatlecos defeated Curacao 1-0 for a 2-0 aggregate triumph. The only goal of the game came in the eighth minute, when Alexander Larin delivered a free kick into the left side of the box. Jonathan Barrios’ diving header appeared to glance slightly off defender Darryl Lachman, before finding the inside of the left post. Larin helped preserve the shutout, clearing a shot off the line in the 80th minute. Curacao was eliminated after one win and three draws in six games, all of which were decided by one goal or fewer. El Salvador advances to the fourth round, where it will face Mexico, Honduras and Canada in Group A.

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FFB Stadium – Belmopan, Belize (A: 2,500)

Belize-Canada 1-1 (1-1)

Deon McCaulay 26’ / Will Johnson 45’

Canada advances (agg: 4-1)

Will Johnson’s goal in the 45th minute lifted Canada to a 1-1 draw at Belize, giving it a 4-1 aggregate victory. The Canadians needed only a draw in Central America after earning a 3-0 win in Friday’s opener. Deon McCaulay gave the host hope and the lead in the 26th minute, beating goalkeeper Milan Borjan at the near, right post from seven-yards out off a feed from Harrison Roches. Just before halftime, Johnson struck from 19 yards with his right foot after Belize’s attempt to clear the ball out of its own box fell short. While McCaualy’s qualifying campaign ended with a team-best four goals, Canada will square off against Group A foes Mexico, Honduras and El Salvador in fourth-round play.

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Estadio Mateo Flores – Guatemala City, Guatemala (A: 5,206)

Guatemala-Antigua & Barbuda 2-0 (0-0)

Carlos Ruiz 63’; Dennis Lopez 75’

Guatemala advances (agg: 2-1)

Guatemala bounced back from a loss in the series opener to defeat visiting Antigua & Barbuda 2-0 and progress 2-1 on aggregate. Following a scoreless first half, Carlos Mejia delivered a picture-perfect cross from the left that Carlos Ruiz (63’) headed home from the edge of the six-yard box. With the goal, Ruiz became the first player in CONCACAF history to score in five different World Cup Qualifying cycles. Another left-sided cross produced the Chapines’ second goal as Moises Hernandez found a leaping Dennis Lopez (75’) for the clincher. Guatemala now heads to the fourth round, where it will take on the United States, Trinidad & Tobago and St. Vincent & the Grenadines in Group D.

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Estadio Nacional – Managua, Nicaragua (A: 18,000)

Nicaragua-Jamaica 0-2 (1-0)

Darren Mattocks 12’; Simon Dawkins 89’

Jamaica advances (agg: 3-2)

Nicaragua’s five-game World Cup Qualifying winning streak and dream of advancing to a group stage for the first time both came to end with a 2-0 loss to visiting Jamaica. The 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup runner-up was stunned at home 3-2 on Friday, but gave the response required for progression thanks to a goal in each half. Darren Mattocks (12’) gave the Reggae Boyz a 1-0 lead, tapping home from close range off an assist from Je-Vaughn Watson. The 25-year-old extended his scoring run in competitive internationals to four games. With the clock winding down, Simon Dawkins picked the right moment to do something spectacular. The Derby County attacker volleyed home after Nicaragua’s attempted clearance of a throw-in fell to him 12 yards from goal. Difficult fourth-round opposition awaits the Jamaicans, who will face Costa Rica, Panama and Haiti in Group B

 
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