Honduras tops Antigua & Barbuda, nears CU20 advancement

Action from the CONCACAF Under-20 Championship game between Honduras (white) and Antigua & Barbuda on February 20, 2017, in San Jose, Costa Rica. (Photo: Straffon Images)

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica – Honduras (2W-0D-0L, 6 points) edged closer to a berth in the classification stage of the 2017 CONCACAF Under-20 Championship with a 4-1 win over Antigua & Barbuda (0-0-2, 0) on Monday at the Estadio Nacional.

 The result provisionally lifted the Hondurans to the top of the Group A table with Mexico (1-0-0, 3) scheduled to face Canada (0-0-1, 0) later in the evening.  If the three-time defending champion Mexicans win or draw, they – along with Honduras – will progress to the next round.

 Honduras got on the scoreboard in the eighth minute, when Jamarlie Stevens inadvertently turned Jose Reyes’ left-sided cross into his own net before it reached Sendel Cruz.

 In the 47th minute, Cruz helped Douglas Martinez get on the scoresheet, delivering a cross from the right that the unmarked 19-year-old forward headed in from five-yards out.

 Antigua & Barbuda, the Caribbean runner-up, halved the deficit in the 57th minute through Luther Wildin, who somehow held off four defenders to beat goalkeeper Javier Delgado from the top of the semicircle.

 Three minutes later, Honduras restored its two-goal lead after Martinez slipped a splendid ball into the box for the moving Darixon Vuelto to slot home with his left foot from 12-yards out as goalkeeper Christian Corbett was charging off his line.

 Jorge Alvarez completed the scoreline in the 82nd minute, firing in from five yards after the racing Jose Pinto eluded two defenders in the left side of the box to make an accurate pass.