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COLUMBUS, Ohio — The United States got back on track for a berth in the 2018 World Cup, ending four nervous days with a 4-0 win over Guatemala on Tuesday night behind goals from Clint Dempsey, Geoff Cameron, Graham Zusi and Jozy Altidore.

After Friday night's dismal 2-0 loss at Guatemala City, when Jurgen Klinsmann played several players out of their most comfortable positions, the U.S. coach made five lineup changes and shifted two others into their more usual spots.

Dempsey scored 12 minutes in and Cameron doubled the lead in the 35th. Zusi, added to the roster Sunday, added a goal just 20 seconds into the second half, and Altidore capped the scoring in the 89th.

A loss would have made it virtually impossible for the United States to finish among the top two teams in the group and reach the six-nation finals of North and Central America and the Caribbean, but the victory put the United States in good position to advance. The Americans are 27-0-2 at home in qualifying since 2001.


BACK IN ACTION: More than 1,700 security personnel were on patrol as France beat Russia on its return to the Stade de France, four months after its last home game was targeted by suicide bombers.

WORLD CUP: Shinji Kagawa scored twice as host Japan thrashed Syria 5-0 to finish top of Group E in the final matches of the second Asian qualifying round.

AFRICAN CUP: Morocco became the first team to qualify for next year's tournament with a 2-0 win over Cape Verde. Egypt is on the brink of making it to Gabon and its first Cup of Nations since 2010 after a 1-0 home win over Nigeria that eliminated the 2013 African champion.


Djokovic rolls in Miami

Novak Djokovic reached the quarterfinals of the Miami Open, beating Dominic Thiem 6-3, 6-4 in Key Biscayne. Djokovic will meet Tomas Berdych in the semifinals. Timea Bacsinszky reached the women's semifinals with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 upset of fifth-seeded Simona Halep.


COLLEGES: U.S. District Judge Aleta Trauger ruled that a reference to Peyton Manning can remain in a Title IX lawsuit filed against Tennessee and that the case shouldn't be moved from Nashville to Knoxville, Tenn.

GOLF: Tiger Woods is going back to the PGA Tour event at Riviera, Calif., for the first time since 2006. The Tiger Woods Foundation will become the host organization for the tournament, which has Hyundai Motor America as the new title sponsor.

Times wires

Sports in brief 03/29/16 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 29, 2016 9:41pm]
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