Alberth Elis (standing) and Kevin Alvarez celebrate after the former scored against Costa Rica in a CONCACAF Men's Olympic Qualifying Championship match on October 4, 2015, in Carson, California. (Photo: Mexsport)
CARSON, California – Honduras (2W-0D-0L, 6 points) edged closer to a fifth straight trip to the CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship semifinals with a 2-0 win over 10-man Costa Rica (0W-0D-2L, 0 points) on Sunday at the StubHub.
The victory provisionally lifted the Hondurans into first place in Group B pending the result of a meeting between Haiti (0W-0D-1L, 0 points) and Mexico (1W-0D-0L, 3 points) later in the evening. If the defending champion Mexicans can avoid defeat, they and Honduras will advance to the final four with a game to spare.
Ten minutes after crashing a shot off the right post, Antony Lozano gave Honduras a 1-0 lead in the 41st minute with his second goal of the competition. Although the Tenerife forward had four defenders in close proximity, he was given time to collect a ball lofted down the middle by Bryan Acosta. Without being closed down, Lozano snapped off a seemingly harmless effort from just outside the box that took a deflection off Jhamir Ordain before rolling inside the right post.
Costa Rica’s task was made more difficult in the 75th minute, when Luis Sequeira was ejected for accumulating two yellow cards within 45 seconds of each other.
Down a man and a goal, the Ticos conceded again with nine minutes left in normal time. A neat combination between Alberth Elis and Oscar Salas drew the attention of three Costa Rican defenders inside their own box. Salas recognized the imbalance and slipped a pass for Elis to finish from the edge of the six-yard box.
Honduras returns to action on Wednesday against Mexico, while Costa Rica will meet Haiti that same evening. Both matches will be played at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce, Colorado.