Honduras' Antony Lozano (#9) jumps high to celebrate after scoring against Haiti in the 2015 CONCACAF Men's Olympic Qualifying Championship match on October 2, 2015, in Carson, California. (Photo: Mexsport)
CARSON, California – Honduras scored early to edge Haiti 1-0 in the 2015 CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship opener for both on Friday at the StubHub Center.
The win provisionally placed the Catrachos atop the Group B table with defending champion Mexico and Costa Rica squaring off later in the evening to complete the doubleheader.
Antony Lozano, who netted twice in the same competition three years ago, struck for the game’s only goal in the sixth minute. A right-sided corner kick by Bryan Acosta glanced off the head of Alberth Elis, who managed to direct it towards the top of the six-yard box, where Lozano prodded the ball under the crossbar with his right foot.
The Tenerife forward then missed on a pair of opportunities to extend the advantage. In the 33rd minute, his header from eight-yards out went wide of the left post and, two minutes after the break, an effort from near the penalty spot was cleared off the line by Pierre Paulson.
With time winding down, Darwin Espinal could have notched an insurance goal, but his right-footed effort in the left side of the box was saved by goalkeeper Luis Odelus.
Haiti had one last chance to level in the third minute of stoppage time, when – with goalkeeper Luis Lopez far out of his net – Manchini Telfort snapped off a shot that caused temporary chaos in the Honduran defense, before Jose Barralaga made an emphatic clearance.
Honduras returns to action Sunday against Costa Rica in an all-Central American match-up, while Haiti will look to bounce back against the Mexicans. Both matches will be played at the StubHub Center.