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Crystal Palace (A) Sat 31 Jan 2015, 15:00, Barclays Premier League

Duo Heading To Brazil

by Adam Clark @efc_adamclark

Everton duo Tim Howard and Bryan Oviedo celebrated qualification to the 2014 World Cup in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
 
Howard's USA secured their place at next summer's tournament in Brazil with a 2-0 win over struggling Mexico, while a 1-1 draw in Jamaica was enough for Oviedo and Costa Rica.
 
The USA's victory came courtesy of goals from Eddie Johnson and former Blues loanee Landon Donovan and moved them to the top of the CONCACAF standings on 16 points.
 
The good news reached Costa Rica in Kingston after Honduras drew 2-2 at home to minnows Panama, thus guaranteeing them one of the group's three automatic qualification spots.
 
America have now defeated Mexico by a 2-0 scoreline at home in each of the last four World Cup qualification campaigns - a happy trend as far as Howard is concerned.
 
“The funny thing is, even at 1-0, I wanted to win, but the greed in me said, 'It would be cool if it was 2-0,' just to keep the symmetry, you know,” the stopper said. “Listen, every time they schedule a game here [against Mexico], we know that it’s going to happen, we feel like we are destined to win it. And not that it happens that way all the time, but we feel like it does, and it seems to work out.
 
"We try not to talk about it before the game but as an American player, you are ultimately judged on how you play against Mexico.
 
"All the images you have in your head are about USA v Mexico. So when it comes to the big games, and this is one of them, you want to play well.”

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