Lozano heads Honduras past Nicaragua for 5th place

Antony Lozano (white jersey) scored the only goal in Honduras' 1-0 win over Nicaragua in the Copa Centroamericana Tigo USA 2014  match for fifth place on September 13, 2014, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California. (Photo: Mexsport)

LOS ANGELES – Honduras posted a 1-0 win over Nicaragua on Saturday in the Copa Centroamericana Tigo USA 2014  (CCA) match for fifth place, keeping alive its hopes of qualifying for the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup. 

Antony Lozano’s header just before halftime was enough to earn the 2014 FIFA World Cup participant a playoff against the fifth-place finisher from November’s Caribbean Cup finals for the last berth in the Confederation’s biennial showpiece event.

In a match played under very sunny and warm conditions at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Honduras had a chance to take a lead within the opening thirty-six seconds.  A right-sided cross from Lozano was headed in by Juan Josue Rodriguez near the left post, but the Parrillas One standout was whistled for going over the back of his defender.

The Catrachos should have gotten on the scoreboard in the 35th minute with a well-crafted opportunity.  Wilmer Crisanto delivered a cross from the right that Rony Martinez headed towards a completely unmarked Lozano, who shot directly into goalkeeper Justo Lorente from close range.

Lozano, though, made amends ten minutes later.  Carlos Will Mejia sent yet another right-sided cross in the direction of Rodriguez.  The midfielder played a delightful short pass in the air for Lozano to head past Lorente for the game’s only goal.

Second-half substitute Bryan Rochez nearly doubled Honduras’ lead seven minutes after the break.  The 19-year-old rounded a flailing Lorente outside the box and, with the goal at his mercy, shot into the outside netting.

In the 56th minute, Rodriguez had another goal disallowed.  On this occasion, he was shown a yellow card by referee Joel Aguilar for punching the ball into net while crashing into the left post.

From that point, Nicaragua asserted itself offensively in search of an equalizer and was unlucky not to find one.

Elvis Figueroa shot agonizingly wide of the left post from 13-yards out in the 77th minute. 

Then, with eight minutes left in normal time, Honduras goalkeeper Kevin Hernandez dove right to thwart a Juan Barrera effort that looked destined to find the back of the net.

Honduras improved to 6-0-0 all-time against Nicaragua in CCA play.

 To view the Highlights of this game, click here