Jerry Bengtson (left) scored Honduras’ only goal in its 1-0 World Cup Qualifying win over visiting Costa Rica on October 11, 2013, at the Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano in San Pedro Sula. (Photo: Imagenes en Costa Rica)
SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras – Honduras moved one step closer to a berth at the 2014 FIFA World Cup as a second-half goal by Jerry Bengtson lifted it a 1-0 victory over Costa Rica on Friday at the Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano.
Roger Espinoza slipped Bengtson behind the Ticos defense and the New England Revolution forward did the rest, putting a low shot inside the far post from 15 yards to give the Hondurans a 65th minute lead they would not relinquish.
It was Bengtson's team-leading ninth goal of World Cup Qualifying and fourth in the CONCACAF hexagonal.
The Catrachos now have 14 points and could clinch a berth at Brazil 2014 if Mexico and Panama draw later in the evening at the Estadio Azteca.
After neither side could generate many opportunities in the attacking third, Honduras started to seize momentum after 20-year-old Andy Najar came on for Wilson Palacios in the 57th minute.
Three minutes later, Oscar Boniek Garcia nearly made Michael Umaña pay for a defensive miscue, but his shot was parried away by goalkeeper Keilor Navas, the first time he was tested.
Finally, Bengston broke through 20 minutes after the interval, much to the delight of the partisan sellout crowd.
Costa Rica, which has already booked its ticket to Brazil, wraps up the final round on Tuesday at home against Mexico, while Honduras heads to Jamaica to meet the Reggae Boyz the same day.
NOTES: It was the fourth meeting this year between the Central American rivals; Costa Rica won the first two meetings, including a victory in the Central American Cup final, while Honduras won the last two…All four of their 2013 encounters were decided by the same 1-0 score