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Stoke City (H) Fri 26 Dec 2014, 15:00, Barclays Premier League

Howard On Track For Brazil

by Daniel Alston @efc_danalston

Tim Howard helped to keep the United States on course for the 2014 World Cup on Tuesday evening.
The Blues goalkeeper kept Panama at bay in Seattle and his clean sheet helped the US to a 2-0 qualifying win.
Goals from Jozy Altidore and Eddie Johnson were enough to keep Jurgen Klinsmann's side top of the group midway through Round Four, two points ahead of Bryan Oviedo's Costa Rica.
Oviedo was omitted from the national squad for his nation's 0-0 draw against Mexico.
The top three sides from the group automatically progress to next summer's tournament in Brazil, while fourth-place earns an Intercontinental Play-Off against New Zealand.
Also in America, Seamus Coleman was in action for the Republic of Ireland as they took on Spain in New York.
The 24-year-old completed his third full 90 minutes for Giovanni Trapattoni’s side since the end of the Premier League season, operating in midfield on this occasion, but he couldn’t stop them from losing 2-0.
Valencia striker Roberto Soldado had given the world and European champions a 69th minute lead but Ireland were denied an equaliser when Sean St Ledger’s strike was disallowed.
With two minutes remaining Chelsea’s Juan Mata sealed the win with a cool finish.
Elsewhere on Tuesday, John Heitinga featured for the Netherlands as they completed their successful Asia tour with a 2-0 win against China. 
The defender played the full 90 minutes as Holland stretched their unbeaten run to 10 games thanks to goals from Robin van Persie and Wesley Sneijder.

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