Nine teams booked passage to the second round of CONCACAF qualifying for the FIFA World Cup South Africa 2010™ and, sadly, nine others are heading for home. Grenada's 10-0 win over the US Virgin Islands was the biggest scoreline of the night as Puerto Rico needed extra-time to get past the Dominican Republic. Join FIFA.com for a look back at all of Wednesday's action in the New World.
Brooklyn-based striker Ricky Charles was the star of the show, grabbing no less than four goals in the rout. Blackburn Rovers' Jason Roberts had opened the scoring with two early strikes in St. George's and Shane Rennie, Dorset Langiagne and Byron Bubb all scored. Dwight Ferguson completed the visitors' humiliation with an own goal three minutes from time.
As one of three of CONCACAF's first-round qualifiers taking place over only one leg, it is job-done for Grenada who will now meet up with Costa Rica over two legs in June.
Over in Bridgetown ten-man hosts Barbados left it late to put brave Dominica out of the running. After Rashida Williams earned two yellows in two minutes (62nd and 64th), Dwayne Stanford popped up with just six minutes left on the clock to break the 1-1 deadlock from the first leg and send the heavily favoured Barbadians, with Wigan Athletic's Emerson Boyce in the squad, through to a second round meeting with CONCACAF champions USA.
St. Lucia needed late drama as well to book their place in the second round. After losing 2-1 in their first leg at Turks and Caicos, Kenwin McPhee's strike on the half-hour in Vieux Fort looked like sending the tie into extra-time. But Titus Elva, who missed the first leg, had other ideas and popped up with a goal in the 83rd minute to make it 3-2 for St. Lucia on the aggregate. The islanders will now move on to play Guatemala in June.
Antigua and Barbuda had a tougher time at home against Aruba than they did on the road last month. Even so, a late goal from substitute Akeem Challenger sealed a 1-0 win on the night and a 4-0 aggregate victory. The Antiguans will now take on Cuba over two legs.
Volcano-ravaged Montserrat saw their dream of a place in South Africa come to an end, losing out 7-1 in Trinidad and Tobago to Suriname in their one-off series. Wensley Cristoph and Kenzo Huur each scored twice for the Surinamese while Cleon Wondel, Melvin Valies and Raydell Schuurman added tallies of their own to render Vladimir Farrell's goal little more than consolation for the islanders. Suriname will now face near neighbours Guyana in the next round.
Once-lowly Belize kept up their impressive revival of form with a 1-1 draw at Warner Park in St. Kitts. Added to the 3-1 result they pulled off last month in Guatemala City, the 4-2 aggregate was enough to see the Central Americans through to a second round contest with none other than mighty Mexico.
The Bahamas finished in a 1-1 stalemate in their first leg against the British Virgin Islands in Nassau. Lesly St. Fleur opened the scoring for the hosts just after the interval, but underdogs BVI hit back in the 76th minute through Rohan Lennon. They will play the second leg, again in Nassau, on Sunday.
In the later games, El Salvador did what was expected by picking up a 4-0 win over Anguilla. The result brings the aggregate in the series to a whopping 16-0 and now sets up a date against Panama for the Salvadorans. Rudis Corrales added another goal to the five he picked up last month to move in as top scorer in the region's qualifying.
Two more first round games remain and will be played on Sunday. The Bahamas and the British Virgin Islands will meet up in their second leg and the Cayman Islands, who earned a credible draw with Bermuda at home last month, will head to Georgetown to see if they can keep the dream alive.
CONCACAF second-round series (to be played in June)
As of Wednesday 26 March
Antigua & Barbuda-Cuba
Netherlands Antilles- Haiti
St. Vincent & the Grenadines-Canada