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WC Qualification CONCACAF

  • 7 September 2013
  • • 07:00
  • • Estadio Azteca, Coyoacán, Ciudad de México (D.F.)
  • Referee: R. Moreno
  • • Attendance: 73981
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Mexico 1-2 Honduras: Los Catrachos stun hosts at Estadio Azteca

After dominating the first half of play El Tri watched Honduras rally late to hand the hosts only their second World Cup qualifying defeat on their home turf in 78 games

It's not how you start, it's how you finish.

And for Mexico, the end was a nightmare.

After looking like the Concacaf power Mexico had been only a year ago, scoring an early goal and dominating Honduras in the first half, El Tri fell apart after half-time and suffered a stunning 2-1 defeat at Estadio Azteca in World Cup qualifying on Friday night.

Oribe Peralta gave Mexico the lead just six minutes in, but Jerry Bengston and Carlos Costly scored within a three-minute span midway through the second half to give Mexico only their second home loss in 78 World Cup qualifying matches.

As things stand now, El Tri are out of position to earn an automatic World Cup spot as they sit behind the United States, Costa Rica and Honduras in fourth place of the Hexagonal standings. To make things worse, El Tri will visit the Americans on Tuesday in Columbus, Ohio.

The top-three finishers qualify for the World Cup, while the fourth-place side will play a one-game playoff against Oceania champions New Zealand for a spot in Brazil next summer.

Mexico, who have qualified for the last six World Cups, have been on a cold streak that started after the nation won gold at the London Olympics over a year ago. El Tri is winless through their first seven games of the Hexagonal, losing twice and drawing five. including three scoreless draws at home.

Desperate to keep his job, Mexico coach Jose Manuel de la Torre made a bold move against the Central Americans by benching striker Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez, who recently returned from a hamstring injury. Peralta got the call up front in the Manchester United star's place, and he was the one shining star for El Tri.

In just the sixth minute, Peralta would end Mexico's scoring drought at home thanks to the speed of Giovani dos Santos, who advanced past an unbalanced Honduras defence to find Peralta on the right to knock in his seventh career international goal.

El Tri looked like a team on a mission throughout the rest of the first half despite not creating any further scoring opportunities before half-time. With 68 per cent of the possession through 45 minutes, it was apparent that Honduras, who rallied from two down late to level with Mexico in the previous meeting between the two teams in the Hex, would need another miracle to stun the home crowd.

And Los Catrachos once again handled the pressure.

Well into the second half, searching for their first scoring chance of the match, Honduras coach Luis Fernando Suarez tossed Bengston onto the pitch and the momentum would swing in the visiting team's direction for the remainder of the match.

In the 64th minute, Honduras delivered a long free kick into the box that was controlled by Oscar Boniek García, who fired a left-footed shot on goal. Goalkeeper Jesus Corona couldn't control the rebound and Bengston was the man on the spot to knock it in.

It was Honduras' first away goal in the Hex, but it wouldn't be their last. Three minutes later, Costly took advantage of a long clearance and fired a low shot into the far corner.

Mexico did all they could to get back into the game and possibly save their coach's job, but the best they could do was hit the post with just minutes remaining. In fact, it was Honduras who had the last chance of the match as Costly missed an open goal.

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