Action from the CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying match between visiting Honduras (left) and Mexico on September 6, 2013, at the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City. (Photo: FIFA via Getty Images)
MEXICO CITY – Honduras made history with a 2-1 victory over host Mexico on Friday in the final round of CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying. The Central American power became just the second team to win a qualifier against Mexico at the Estadio Azteca, matching the feat of Costa Rica in 2001.
Goals from Jerry Bengtson and Carlo Costly paved the way for the triumph, which lifted the Hondurans into third place in the Hexagonal on 10 points, two ahead of El Tri.
The home side started off on the right foot, scoring in the sixth minute. A run down the left side by Giovani Dos Santos ended with a cross to Oribe Peralta, whose effort beat goalkeeper Noel Valladares.
In the second half, Honduras started to penetrate the well-organized Mexican defense, creating opportunities that didn’t present themselves in the first 45 minutes. Its persistence and relentless running paid dividends in the 64th minute.
Mexico was unable to clear a ball in the area and a shot from Costly was deflected away by goalkeeper Jesus Corona. The rebound fell to the feet of an alert Bengtson, who smashed it home to knot the score at 1-1.
Two minutes later a long ball out of the back fell to the uncompromising Costly on the left. The 31-year-old forward fired a left-footed shot that beat Corona to the far post for his 11th career qualifying goal.
The Mexicans made every effort to level, immediately bringing on Javier Hernandez – the team’s top scorer in this cycle of qualifying with five goals – even though he has seen very limited time this season at Manchester United due to an injury.
With 10 minutes on the clock the Tricolor thought it had equalized, but Javier Aquino’s shot rang off the crossbar.
Mexico returns to action on Tuesday at the United States, while Honduras will try to lock up another victory at home versus Panama the same day.
NOTES: Honduras snapped a three-game away losing streak in World Cup Qualifying…Mexico is winless in its last four World Cup Qualifying games at home, including three losses (0-3-1).