United States 2, Jamaica 1

Monday, October 8th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

FOXBORO, Mass. (AP) _ The United States clinched its fourth consecutive World Cup berth, beating Jamaica 2-1 Sunday on Joe-Max Moore's penalty kick in the 81st minute.

Combined with Mexico's scoreless tie at Costa Rica and Trinidad and Tobago's 1-0 upset win at Honduras, the Americans (5-3-1) assured themselves of finishing among the top three nations in the North and Central American and Caribbean region.

The United States, coming off its first three-game losing streak in 29 years, didn't play well, squandering a lead Moore created with a goal on a header in the third minute.

James Lawrence tied the score in the 14th when U.S. defenders stood in the penalty area and beat goalkeeper Brad Friedel off a long throw-in.

But the United States got the crucial penalty kick when Claudio Reyna, back from a groin injury, sent a pass into the penalty area to a streaking Landon Donovan. Jamaica's Tyrone Marshall, who entered in the 63rd minute, pulled him down with a sliding tackle and referee Rodolfo Sibrian of El Salvador immediately pointed to the penalty spot.

Costa Rica (6-1-2), which clinched one of the region's three berths by beating the Americans last month, is first with 20 points, followed by the United States with 16. Mexico and Honduras both are 4-3-2 with 14 points, but they meet Nov. 11, so only one could overtake the Americans.