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USA vs. Guatemala, 2014 World Cup qualifying: Team USA holds 3-1 advantage at the half

After a tough start to the match, Clint Dempsey has scored twice and Carlos Bocanegra has added a goal to give the United States a 3-1 lead at the half of their 2014 World Cup qualifying match against Guatemala.

Jamie Sabau - Getty Images

The United States escaped on Friday night with a win over Antigua and Barbuda, and after falling behind in the first five minutes on Tuesday night, has come back strong to lead Guatemala 3-1 at halftime of its 2014 World Cup qualifying match. The Americans need to earn just a draw to advance to the final, six-team tournament in the region and move one step closer to a slot in the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

Shoddy defensive play early in the match allowed Guatemala's Carlos Ruiz to give his country a 1-0 lead at Livestrong Sporting Park in Kansas City. Jurgen Klinsmann's club promptly responded, with Carlos Bocanegra scoring in the 10th minute with the help of Graham Zusi's corner kick and Clint Dempsey's header. Dempsey then took over the scoring load himself, finding the back of the net at the 18 minute mark and 36 minute mark to give the Americans a substantial two goal lead at the half.

The United States and Guatemala are currently tied atop their group. The two teams played to a draw in Guatemala in June.