x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

World Cup qualifying: Honduras shock USA after 2-1 win

Honduras recorded their first ever home win over the USA as the CONCACAF battle to reach the 2014 World Cup enters the final stages.

Juan Carlos Garcia scores for Honduras against the USA during their World Cup qualifier at Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano.
Juan Carlos Garcia scores for Honduras against the USA during their World Cup qualifier at Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano.

Honduras came from behind to claim a surprise 2-1 win over the United States at the Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano to make the perfect start to the final stage of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup.

The last round of the CONCACAF Zone will see the top three teams qualify directly to next year's World Cup in Brazil, while the fourth-placed side will play a knockout tie with a South American nation.

Honduras managed to claim their very first home win over the USA in a World Cup qualification encounter.

It was not all plain sailing for the hosts, however, with Clint Dempsey putting Jurgen Klinsmann's men ahead with a volley in the 35th minute.

However, Juan Carlos Garcia equalised with a tremendous bicycle-kick four minutes later.

Honduras dominated thereafter in San Pedro Sula, but only clinched the winner in the 78th minute when Jerry Bengtson finished after some lovely work by Boniek Garcia.

"The win is quite nice but this is only the first step," Luis Fernando Suarez, the Honduras manager, said after the match.

"The team did interesting things on the field and always went towards the rivals' goal. This is a totally deserved win and it is because the team played better."

Klinsmann admitted he was shocked by the result and the performance of his side. "We made lots of mistakes and another team played better than us," he said.

"That team was Honduras today Their two goals were very nice.

"The final score shocked us, even though we know playing Honduras home or away is very hard. Now we must win the next games because we must get into the World Cup."

In Panama City, hosts Panama were held to a 2-2 draw against Costa Rica, who were far from their best for large periods but hit back from two goals down to claim a share of the spoils.

Luis Henriquez put Panama ahead in the 14th minute after a Rolando Escobar throw-in, while Roman Torres made it 2-0 after a Marcos Sanchez cross.

Alvaro Saborio halved the deficit six minutes before half-time by heading home from Christopher Meneses' pass, while Brayan Ruiz levelled proceedings with seven minutes to go.

Elsewhere, Mexico were fortunate to come away with a goalless draw at home to Jamaica.

Jose de Jesus Corona, the Mexican goalkeeper, was the man of the match after making several fine saves.

However, opposite number Donovan Ricketts was also kept busy, repelling two efforts from Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez.

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