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(Reuters) - Guatemala scored a major upset on Friday with a 2-0 home win over the United States in 2018 World Cup qualifying.
First-half goals by defender Rafael Morales and striker Carlos Ruiz gave Guatemala the win over the United States, who went close through Clint Dempsey, Alejandro Bedoya and Jozy Altidore but could not find a way past goalkeeper Paulo Motta.
The result leaves the United States, who had never lost to Guatemala in a World Cup qualifier, in third place at the halfway point in CONCACAF' Group C with four points, two behind Guatemala and three behind leaders Trinidad and Tobago.
The top two teams from each of the three groups go through to a final round, where three automatic berths for Russia are at stake. The fourth-placed side in the final six-team group goes to an intercontinental playoff.
Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Peter Rutherford