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Soccer briefs

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 29, 2001


U.S. wins on late goal

U.S. wins on late goal

SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras -- Clint Mathis curled a 22-yard free kick around a defensive wall and just inside the post with four minutes left as the United States beat Honduras 2-1 in a World Cup qualifier Wednesday night despite missing four injured starters.

Earnie Stewart, celebrating his 32nd birthday, scored on a deflected 35-yard shot in the first half, but Brad Friedel was beaten by Julio Cesar de Leon's 32-yard shot early in the second.

After Chris Armas was fouled, Mathis scored the go-ahead goal with a tremendous bending shot over a five-man wall.

The Americans had been 0-3-4 in qualifiers in Central America since September 1989, giving up late goals in a 1-1 tie at Guatemala last summer and a 2-1 loss at Costa Rica. The United States won this time despite finishing a man short. Cobi Jones was ejected in the 90th minute.

Friedel, who blanked Mexico Feb. 28, made several key saves. Kasey Keller, who is considered the top U.S. goalkeeper, came back from Europe for the game and the decision by coach Bruce Arena to start Friedel was somewhat of a surprise.

After two games in the finals of the North and Central American and Caribbean region, the United States (2-0) is in first place with six points, followed by Mexico and Jamaica (each 1-1) with three, and Honduras (0-0-1) with one.

Each nation plays 10 games, and the top three qualify for the 2002 tournament.

The Americans play Costa Rica on April 25.

Brazil falls to 3rd in qualifying group

Brazil, a four-time Cup champion, lost 1-0 at Ecuador. Agustin Delgado scored four minutes into the second half to give the host (6-4-1) its first victory against Brazil (6-3-2). Brazil's Romario hit the left post when the net was empty, and Ecuador goalkeeper Jose Cevallos made two late saves.

Brazil fell to third in the South American standings, behind Argentina (9-1-1) and Paraguay (7-2-2). The top four automatically qualify for next year's tournament; the fifth-place team plays the Oceania winner for a berth.

In Europe, the Dutch took a 2-0 lead at Portugal, but Pauleta and Luis Figo scored in the last five minutes to tie it.

Filippo Inzaghi and Alessandro Del Piero scored twice each as Italy beat Lithuania 4-0.

Mutiny television schedule announced

The Mutiny announced its broadcast partners for this season. All 14 road games will be broadcast live on one of three stations. The first three games will be shown on WTTA Ch. 38. Sunshine will broadcast seven games, and ESPN and ESPN2 will share four.

Additionally, ESPN will show the April 28 home game against Chicago and ESPN2 will show the June 2 home game against Kansas City and the Sept. 9 home game against Columbus. Eight road games will be shown by Spanish-language station Ch. 44 in Hillsborough County only.

WWBA-AM 1040 and WAMA-AM 1550 (Spanish) will broadcast all games.

- Staff writer Rodney Page contributed to this report.

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