CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying: Canada, Mexico, Honduras win & more

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

By BRYAN ROBISON

While Jamaica's win over the United States garnered much of the headlines on Friday, there were plenty of other intriguing World Cup qualifying match-ups that took place in CONCACAF.

The most signifcant was Canada's win over Panama at BMO Field in Toronto. Dwayne De Rosario became the all-time leading scorer in Canadian history, notching his 20th career goal to lift Canada to a 1-0 win over Panama. De Rosario surpassed former striker and manager of the Canada national team, Dale Mitchell. The milestone comes just weeks after De Rosario notched his 100th career MLS goal.

Panama came into the night leading Group C and looking to put a tight clinch on first place, as the top two teams in each group advance to the next round. However, Canada held strong throughout the night, concluding with De Rosario's winner in the 77th minute. The goal came off of a quick free kick attempt, as Panama was slow to react to the shot and allowed an unmarked De Rosario to knock in the lone goal.

Panama fought back, coming incredibly close to tying it up in the final moments of the match. They came closest to equalizing on a Roman Torres shot which was just inches to the left of the post.

With the win, Canada takes over the lead in Group C with seven points and Panama now has six. The two sides will face off again in Panama City on Tuesday evening.

Here is a rundown of the rest of Friday's CONCACAF World Cup qualifying matches:

HONDURAS TOO MUCH FOR CUBA

Despite a strong showing in the Olympics in London, Honduras had a poor start to their World Cup qualifying, registering just one point in their first two matches against Panama and Canada, respectively. They failed to find the net in both matches. But on Friday, Honduras found the net, and often, against Cuba.

Much like earlier in the summer, when MLS was representing very well for Los Catrachos, they were on full display on Saturday night, as three MLS players scored for Honduras in the 3-0 victory.

The San Jose Earthquakes were represented on two of them, as Victor Bernadez and Marvin Chavez both scored for the visiting Hondurans. Opening the scoring was the star of the Olympics, Jerry Bengtson, of the New England Revolution. Bengtson scored all three goals for Honduras in the Olympics, and he continued that strong form for his national club last night.

Cuba did not stand much of a chance thanks to the Honduras offensive onslaught, essentially eliminiating their hopes of advancing past group stage.

The two clubs will square off again on Tuesday night in San Pedro Sula on Tuesday night.

MEXICO WINS THIRD CONSECUTIVE ROAD MATCH, DEFEATING COSTA RICA 2-0

While much of the discussion going into the match was whether Chicharito would start for El Tri, that was moved to the side as the long-time international started at forward along with Oribe Peralta. Neither one made an overly significant impact, though, as it was the midfield that was the star group for the offense on the night.

Despite missing Giovanni dos Santos due to injury, Mexico had no trouble creating offense throughout the match, as they took on a Costa Rican club looking to overtake the lead in Group B.

That would not happen, as Mexico took over the match with the opening score from Carlos Salcido in the 43rd minute. From there, Costa Rica was unable to mount a comeback. That comeback window seemingly closed early in the second half with a Jesus Zavala goal in the 52nd minute.

With the loss, Costa Rica failed to gain a point, but held on to second place in Group B. They will hold a daunting task on Tuesday if they look to earn a point, as they will travel to Estadio Azteca for the second of two matches in Mexico City on Tuesday.

GUYANA AND EL SALVADOR FIGHT TO 2-2 DRAW

Despite going into Friday night conceding seven goals in two matches, Guyana was able to manage a point out of last night's match with El Salvador in San Salvador.

The man of the match for Guyana was 19-year old Treyon Bobb, who was making just his second appearance for the club. The midfielder scored both goals for Guyana, showing manager Jamaal Shabazz made the correct decision to start the teenager.

For El Salvador, it was a disappointing result, as the they had a chance to move into second place in Group B thanks to the Costa Rica loss to Mexico. Now, they will face a tough schedule for the three remaining group matches in order to make it to the hexagonal stage of qualifying, as they will travel to Providence, Guyana to take on Guyana again on Tuesday. They will then take on second place Costa Rica and first place Mexico next month to conclude group play.

GUATEMALA OVERPOWER ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA

On a waterlogged field (and that could be an understatement) in Guatemala City, the host nation proved too strong for the visiting side, as Carlos Ruiz scored a brace in the dominant win on Friday.

Play was sluggish throughout the night, as any consistent offense was hampered thanks to the field, which featured over a dozen large puddles. Even so, El Pescadito was able to score twice, as Ruiz made an impact, despite not having played for a club all season. He notched his 51st and 52nd career goals for Guatemala, continuing his successful year for his home country, having scored seven goals in 2012.

The pivotal win comes on the heels of the surprising draw against the United States in June, as Guatemala is now even with Americans in the Group A standings. Both are even with 4 points and a +1 goal differential.

The Guatemalans will now travel to North Sound for the second match with Antigua and Barbuda on Tuesday night.

Group A Standings

1. Jamaica (2-1-0, 7 points, +2 GD)
2. United States (1-1-1, 4 points, +1 GD)
3. Guatemala (1-1-1, 4 points, +1 GD)
4. Antigua and Barbuda (0-1-2, 1 point, -4 GD)

Group B Standings

1. Mexico (3-0-0, 9 points, +5 GD)
2. Costa Rica (1-1-1, 4 points, +2 GD)
3. El Salvador (0-2-1, 2 points, -1 GD)
4. Guyana (0-1-2, 1 point, -6 GD)

Group C Standings

1. Canada (2-1-0, 7 points, +2 GD)
2. Panama (2-0-1, 6 points, +2 GD)
3. Honduras (1-1-1, 4 points, +1 GD)
4. Cuba (0-0-3, 0 points, -5 GD)

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What are your thoughts on the results? Surprised by Canada and their performance so far in group play? Will El Salvador be able to come back from the draw? How worried should the Americans be about Guatemala in Group A?

Share your thoughts below.

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22 Responses to CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying: Canada, Mexico, Honduras win & more

  1. Illmatic74 says:

    I am happy for Canada. Being half Guyanese I am sort of happy to see Guyana at least get a point.

  2. bizzy says:

    It’s crazy how teams like Honduras, Jamaica, Canada etc are getting it done with MLS players are their stars, that are not even the best in their respective positions in the league(well apart from Dero!!!), and yet we are so quick to cry “we have no depth” and load our team with defensive midfielders.

  3. Jesse says:

    Also interesting how 20 goals is the all time leader for Canada.

  4. Lorenzo says:

    Also interesting is Canada is leading their group and so far have scored 2 goals.

  5. Ted in MN says:

    It wasn’t easy for Guatemala and it wasn’t all pitch. A&B actually looked both comfortable and dangerous for the first hour. It wasn’t even till after the red card for James that Guatemala expressed consistent pressure.

  6. Soro says:

    Well, they haven’t conceded any, so that might explain it.

  7. NE Matt says:

    Wish we had a DeRo in the USMNT player pool

  8. Artie says:

    Exactly. It’s hard to call a win “dominant” when they were behind with only half an hour left, and it really was Antigua losing their goalie that gifted the Guatemalans the game. The field was ridiculous, though.

  9. abc says:

    Is that important, not conceding goals?
    How do they manage that, do they play like fifteen defensive midfielders at once?

  10. abc says:

    Just imagine…

    ——–Altidore———–
    ===Dempsey–DeRo–Donovan—
    —-Jones/Holden—Bradley—-
    Johnson–Cameron–Edu–Chandler
    ——-Howard————–

  11. abc says:

    What’s really sad is we have the weakest group… gj Klinsy!

  12. Gobletto says:

    As a ‘Nuck, this kind of comment cracks me up. With the relative riches of the US pool, you can’t but envy one of our gems.

    From the comments about the Jamaica game, my guess is you would’ve benefited from Atiba Hutchinson far more.

    How about this question for Ives…what’s your Can-Am starting 11?

  13. RLW2020 says:

    seriously! and how the 1 MLS player to make the line up for the US fails miserably.. I don’t get it, but I would say that the unfamiliarity between the Euro/Mex leagues players does not help us. Beckerman (US), Jones (Germany), Edu (England), Torres (Mexico) don’t mix well and don’t complement each other either.

    As for MLS; the league is better than ever but there are not enough US Stars in the league, i feel like most teams has foreign play makers and the top US players are struggling to find consistency or can’t replicate their club form with the rest of the national team. Not MLS’ problem but says something about USSoccer.

  14. NE Matt says:

    You guys are no slouches. I’m pulling hard for both of us to advance and finish in the top 4 of the hex. We may have more “riches” than you Canucks at this point, but we’ve never produced a forward playing, attacking playmaker like DeRo. It sucks for us.

  15. NE Matt says:

    I would LOVE that!

  16. abc says:

    We’ll give you Teal Bunbury for him! ;-)

    I have no connection to Canada aside from having visited there a few times, but I definitely root for you guys to do well. Let’s face it the two countries are more closely connected than almost any others when it comes to pro sports (leagues, players). It would be awesome for North American soccer if in addition to the US and Mexico, Canada was regularly qualifying for the World Cup.

  17. bizzy says:

    I know….imagine if these other countries had the likes of:
    Pontius Cooper
    Brad Davis George John
    Farfan Wondo
    Zusi Demerit
    Buddle Agudelo
    Bunbury Adu
    Feilhaber Nguyen
    Zizzo Just to name a few
    We would have a hard time to qualify..lol

    We are being beaten/challenged with
    JAMAICA
    Mattocks (whitecaps)F Cummings (colorado)F
    Johnson (Toronto)F Richards (whitecaps)M
    Watson (houston)M Thomas (montreal)D
    Williams (toronto)D Taylor (houston)D
    Palmer (timbers)D

    Anytime we have more than 6 MLS players on the roster it’s the B team…did any of these guys ever play in an MLS allstar game?

  18. mike says:

    i absolutely love that Guyana is in the tournament at this stage. and i must also admit i am pleased to see they’ve earned their first point. and during an away match. Guyana has to be a positive sign for Concacaf: no Trinidad for a change. they are unlikely to progress, sure. but it is such a positive sign that they are here. i hope the fans give El Salvador hell in Providence!

  19. THomas says:

    I don’t think the US will drop another point. Maybe a draw but if it’s to a team below us that won’t matter since they’re not picking up a point. But I think we win by a few over Jamaica Tuesday and finish top on goal differential. All will be restored in the universe.

  20. eltham says:

    UA will have to step up a notch to beat jamaica cuz jamaica is on a high

  21. Matt says:

    Group A:
    The US will not only bounce back but they will win the group winning every single point from her on out. But very curious if Guatemala will be able to overtake Jamaica for the second slot.

    Group B:
    Mexico not only will secure a spot in the next round with a win but they will also clinch winning the group with a win on Tuesday against Costa Rica. Their remaining matches might as well be treated like friendlies. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if Mexico scheduled extra friendlies in October and split the team into two different teams lead by Tena and De la Torre to play different opponents and get their players more exposure.
    As for who else is going to advance, I wouldn’t be surprised if El Salvador over takes Costa Rica if El Salvador are able to get a win away at Guyana and then a win against Costa Rica at home.

    Group C
    Cuba exists in the group to give 6 points to the other teams in the group. Canada need a result away against Panama other wise there is a chance of Honduras overtaking Canada by next month. Canada has Panama away next on tuesday and then Honduras away next month.
    This is going to be the tightest group of the three.

  22. tony says:

    why are you americans crying…..for now there is nothing to worry about…..luckily, the states is in a weak group…..worry about the next round…..thats when it counts……and the 3 winners are…..mexico, honduras and ?……yeah maaaaaan….Jamaica !