Menjivar magic lifts El Salvador over Honduras

Richard Menjivar (#6) scored the lone goal in El Salvador's 1-0 Central American Cup win over Honduras on September 7, 2014, at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas. (Photo: Mexsport)

DALLAS, Texas – Richard Menjivar struck off a brilliant individual effort midway through the second half as El Salvador earned a 1-0 victory over Honduras in the Central American Cup on Sunday at the Cotton Bowl.

It was the Salvadorans first win over its regional rival in the competition since February 15, 2003, in Panama City, Panama.

After two games each, Guatemala (2-0-0, 6 points) tops Group A with maximum points, while El Salvador and Honduras are tied for second with 1-0-1 records.  Belize (0-0-2, 0 points) sits in last place.

In a spirited encounter, it took an instant of brilliance from Menjivar to settle matters.  The San Antonio Scorpions midfielder dribbled into the right side of the box, drew a defender towards him and cut left.  With the target in sight, he fired a low, left-footed shot from 17-yards out inside the left post beyond diving goalkeeper Kevin Hernandez to give El Salvador a 67th minute lead.

Once again, Honduras found it difficult to score.  Against Belize on Wednesday, it needed a pair of own-goals in a 2-0 victory.  The 2014 FIFA World Cup participant was not afforded such generosity by El Salvador.  In fact, the Cuscatlecos generated many of the evening’s better chances and were either unlucky or found Hernandez ready to make the save.

In the fifth minute, a deflected ball fell in the Honduran box to the excellent Rafael Burgos, who blazed a left-footer over the crossbar.

The Minnesota United forward forced Hernandez into a stunning save after first-timing a cross from close range 15 minutes later.

Perhaps, El Salvador’s best opportunity came ten minutes before the break. Midfielder Darwin Ceren – another rising star – skillfully weaved his way through the heart of the Honduran defense, only to fire wide of the left post from 17-yards out.

Group A play moves to BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston on Wednesday as Honduras takes on Guatemala after El Salvador meets Belize.

 To view the Highlights of this game, click here.