Action from the World Cup qualifier between Mexico (green jersey) and visiting Honduras on September 6, 2016, in Mexico City. (Photo: Mexsport)
MEXICO CITY, Mexico -- Mexico and visiting Honduras battled to a 0-0 draw in a fourth-round World Cup qualifying match on Tuesday at the Estadio Azteca.
The Group A result gave Honduras (2W-2D-2L, 8 points) the last remaining berth in the CONCACAF Hexagonal, nipping Canada (2-1-3, 7) – a 3-1 winner over El Salvador – by a single point. The Mexicans (5-1-0. 16) dropped their first points of the competition, but had previously clinched first place.
Honduras almost got on the scoresheet in the first minute. After winning a free kick just inside the Mexican half, Mario Martinez lofted a left-sided cross into the box that goalkeepr Alfredo Talavera misjudged. The ball went over his head and flashed just wide of the post.
In the sixth minute, Honduras’ Romell Quioto was played through on goal, but Talavera came off his line quickly to clear from danger.
The Central American side posed danger again three minutes later, when Martinez’s looping attempt from long range was parried over the crossbar by Talavera.
Mexico’s best chance of the half came in the 37th minute thanks to midfielder Javier Aquino. The Tigres standout slipped in forward Angel Zaldivar, whose lunging effort forced a save from goalkeeper Donis Escober.
Hirving Lozano fired over the crossbar in the 56th minute for the Tricolor, which was held at bay by a Honduran defense happy to protect the result that would see it progress.
Mexico will open the final round on November 11 at the United States, while Honduras will host Panama the same day.