Friday, March 22, 2013

Mexico 2 - Honduras 2

Honduras and the heat of early afternoon San Pedro Sula welcomed Mexico into town.  Javier Aquino had the first shot of the match, but he pulled it just wide for Mexico after Giovanni Dos Santos had done amazing work to track the ball down.  Andres Guardado unleashed a cross that was nearly headed on frame by Javier Hernandez (pictured, green).  Honduras then had a couple chances in a row.  Francisco Rodriguez blocked the first one, but the second one had to be saved by Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa after a terrible clearance by Hector Moreno allowed Oscar Garcia to take a shot for Honduras.  After a calm period, Guardado drove up the left side of the pitch against the Honduran defense, and he let fly a perfect cross a few yards short of the near post after beating Arnold Peralta.  Hernandez beat his marker Victor Bernardez to the ball and headed the ball over the goalkeeper from the acute angle to give Mexico the opener before a half hour had elapsed.  Ochoa again made a saving play several minutes later when he came off his line to beat Honduras forward Jerry Bengston to a ball before clearing upfield.  Moreno had a saving slide tackle after a through ball from Garcia put Carlo Costly in on goal.  Bengston found himself open inside the six-yard box at the end of the half from a Mario Martinez cross, but he shot wide.  Mexico led 1-0 at halftime.

Noel Valladeres in goal for Honduras made a brilliant diving save off a diving header attempt to deny Mexico early in the second half.  One minute later, Bengston missed another header opportunity, this time off a Peralta cross.  Mexico found a second goal not quite ten minutes into the second half.  Carlos Salcido smoked a free kick low from the left side, and again it was Hernandez who beat everyone to the near post.  This time, Hernandez used a sliding kick to push the pass home for 2-0 and completely deflate Honduras.  Somehow, the home side dusted themselves off and found a way into the match.  A Martinez corner was curled onto the six-yard box, from where a heavy header from Carlo Costly made its way into the net and gave Honduras a lifeline.  Down just 2-1 now, it took Honduras just three minutes to find the equalizer.  A clumsy tackle from the side by Rodriguez on Costly gave Honduras a penalty kick opportunity.  Ochoa blocked the initial shot, but the rebound went straight to the kicker and the put back was simple enough for a 2-2 scoreline.  Mexico should have had a dangerous free kick at the end of the match when Bermudez took down Guardado by grabbing his face on a three-on-two breakaway, but no foul was given.  Time expired and the result is a 2-2 draw.

Javier Hernandez 28, 54

Carlo Costly 77
Jerry Bengston 80

Match Reports:


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