Carlos Bocanegra, Clint Dempsey and Herculez Gomez scored as the United States opened World Cup qualifying with a somewhat shaky 3-1 victory over Antigua and Barbuda on Friday.

Bocanegra put the Americans ahead in the eighth minute, tapping the ball into the net after goalkeeper Molvin James made a diving save of Gomez's header off Landon Donovan's corner kick. Dempsey's goal came from a penalty kick in the 44th minute after Marvin McCoy upended Donovan.

Peter Byers scored in the 65th minute for 105th-ranked Antigua, a nation of 86,000 that could almost fit its entire population in Raymond James Stadium. Gomez restored a two-goal lead in the 72th with an effort off a rebound.