Mexico face stern test against Honduras, Jamaica and Panama fight to maintain World Cup hopes

MexicoNationalTeam1 (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

The CONCACAF region plays host to two of the biggest World Cup qualifiers on Friday, as Honduras hosts Mexico and Jamaica hosts Panama.

The Hondurans come into the match on a high after beating the United States in the last round and currently sit atop the Hexagonal standings. However, things can change if Mexico finds a way to win at the Estadio Olimpico in San Pedro Sula on Friday afternoon.

The Javier Hernandez-led team stuttered out of the gate, playing to a scoreless draw at home against an energetic Jamaican side. Now returning home, Jamaica looks to go top of the table if they can defeat the visiting Panamanians.

Jamaica, using home field to their advantage, will definitely rely on MLS stars Donovan Ricketts, Ryan Johnson, and JeVaughn Watson to defeat a solid Panamanian side looking to qualify for the World Cup for the first time ever.

While Jamaica will use their North American based stars, Mexico will certainly rely on Dos Santos, Hernandez, and Andres Guardado, all plying their trade in Europe, to step up for their nation. Mexico’s form was deadly in the third round of World Cup qualification, winning all six games and scoring 15 goals. Winning on the road against Costa Rica and El Salvador, two of the better Central American sides, should give El Tri the confidence to take on Honduras.

The Hondurans, as the U.S. learned, are not a team to be taken lightly. Having proven forwards Jerry Bengtson and Carlo Costly in the lineup will force the Mexican back line to work their tails off, while Roger Espinoza and Oscar Boniak Garcia will look to control play from the middle. What makes this match even more important is that with a win, Honduras will still be atop the table on six points, a full five ahead of the big power that is Mexico.

Nevertheless, Panama may want a Honduras win on Friday so that come Tuesday, when they host the Hondurans, they can catch Los Catrachos off guard. Blas Perez and Gabrial Gomez are two experienced players for Los Canaleros, or the Canal Men, and they will always rely on Felipe Baloy in the back, a man that U.S. fans will remember too much of from the last Gold Cup.

What match are you looking forward to? Do you see Mexico taking care of business in Honduras? Do you think Panama could take points from Jamaica?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in CONCACAF, Featured, Mexican Soccer. Bookmark the permalink.

104 Responses to Mexico face stern test against Honduras, Jamaica and Panama fight to maintain World Cup hopes

  1. Tony in Quakeland says:

    Just before anyone asks: we want to win while everyone else draws. Every game.

    • James says:

      Panama and Jamaica, yea a draw is good for us. But we don’t want Mexico to draw. We didn’t want them to draw against Jamaica. The US is much better off if Mexico takes all their points in every game (except the US, of course). Other countries taking points off Mexico only makes the US job harder.

  2. ChiTown says:

    All 11 Finnish players were jut inside their 18! Haha.

  3. Benny says:

    Iceland with a big win!!!!!

  4. bryan says:

    a draw for Panama/Jamaica would be perfect. but i really hope Mexico loses. not that i really want Honduras to have 6 points from 2 games, but i love the idea of Mexico only having 1 point out of two games.

    • James says:

      While I do relish seeing Mexico suffer, the reality for the US is that we want them to win every game (except against us, of course). Mexico will qualify. Them loosing points to other countries only increases how many points we need.

    • alabamafutbol says:

      Torn between wanting a Mexico win and a draw.. they might come in to Azteca with a touch less intensity if they get the huge win in San Pedro Sula. Mexico haven’t won a qualifier on Honduran soil in 4 or in 5 cycles- this is a HUGE game for both of them. Coming off a big win Mexico might have a little bit of a let down against us. But at the same time if they draw and get only 2 points out of 2 games they might feel more pressure/play tighter against us. What do y’all think?

  5. Old School says:

    Is it possible for everyone to lose? I want that.

  6. OBRick says:

    Mexico not qualifying for the WC would make me almost as happy as the USA qualifying.

  7. ChiTown says:

    I imagine the referee feels bad for Finland getting mauled here and doesn’t want to compound the problem, but dude you can’t not call stone cold penalties like that.

  8. Lu says:

    Honduran fans being carried off in stretchers because of the heat

  9. ChiTown says:

    Just looked it up–it’s currently 40% humidity and 100 degrees in San Pedro Sula. Does a player pass out before the game ends?

    That’s wild.

  10. Jay says:

    Mexico uses altitude the USA uses the cold and Honduras uses the fires of hell it would appear. That’s that I need to find a new place to live heat.

  11. alabamafutbol says:

    Honduras taking the game to Mexico. Anyone else watching?

  12. atd says:

    Mexico is most dangerous on the counterattack. Which is probably why they had trouble with Jamaica — big, athletic team that loaded people behind the ball and played through/over the top to speedy forwards….

  13. Lu says:

    Hernandez just scored for Mexico

  14. riggity21 says:

    goal chicharito

  15. bryan says:

    honduras playing well but hernandez and guardado just punished them.

    • alabamafutbol says:

      Mexico scored against the run of play. Honduras might start to get frustrated now- they’re settling for lots of shots from distance

  16. fischy says:

    Is anyone else troubled by Cantor referring to Espinoza as “El Chino?”

    • Kevin says:

      Why would anyone troubled by that? Some people in get that nickname name for their curlyhair.

      • ChiTown says:

        El Chino is a slur for Central Americans that appear Chinese.

        • Benny says:

          What BS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I call some of my friends “Chino” It’s a nickname for Christ sakes. They have had it since they were kids. Just talk soccer and quit trying to stir it up.

    • Ed says:

      Not everyone is as sensitive as Americans seem to be.

  17. john says:

    lol. you guys clearly don’t know Spanish. He is called el chino because of his curly hair. Chino=curly

  18. George Baldwin says:

    And thats how a good team plays honduras in honduras!

    • ChiTown says:

      Get dominated and score against the run of play because you have Manchester United’s striker playing against MLS defenders?

      • George Baldwin says:

        To say they got dominated is BS! Honduras only took a point there because of a bad penalty call. Mexico did way better than we did there.

  19. Ed says:

    Just curious, i wonder if there is a single white person who is offended by the term “Gringo”

    • ChiTown says:

      Never really thought about that, but I’d guess there’s very few.

    • somedude says:

      In Mexico a gringo is anybody from the USA, not just white people. Mexico has a pretty big white population by the way, though most of the country is mestizo of course.

      “Gringo” is just a nickname,like “Yankee”.

      • Ed says:

        yeah last game at Azteca i was suprised how many light skinned spanish looking people there were (on TV). But in Houston for the Gold Cup, 95% mestizo/mix

      • alabamafutbol says:

        That’s probably true in Mex, but depending on which Latin American country you’re in a gringo could be most a white person not from USA. For ex in Honduras they always referred to Brits and Aussies as gringos as well

  20. bryan says:

    Honduras pulling one back. Gio and Javi are both subbed out. This could be intense…

    PENALTY FOR HONDURAS. wow!

  21. 2tone says:

    Honduras ties things up.

  22. ChiTown says:

    Epic Mexico collapse. Epic.

  23. 2tone says:

    All I have to say is that the USMNT better take care of business tonight because these mexican players are going to come out flying against the Americans on Tuesday.

  24. fischy says:

    Chicharito looks like he’s having a breakdown….

    • petedx says:

      Well that was concacaf soccer at it’s best the last 10 minutes. Up and down, fouls not being called, totally unorganized. Probably the best result in terms of the US qualifying. Hopefully Mexico will be tired given the short turnaround, Hernandez didn’t seem fit at all.

  25. 2tone says:

    Rodriguez misses the game against the US due to Yellow card accumulation.

    • bryan says:

      that’s a huge loss for them. they certainly have good depth, but his leadership and experience brings a lot to their back line. not to mention he’s 6’6″…

      • Kevin says:

        Maybe not, Rodriguez was at fault on both goals and they have a 20 year old 6’4″ who just sign for porto.

        • bryan says:

          correct, but that’s why i said the biggest loss is experience and leadership. he’s their captain. Reyes only has 3 caps and none of them are in World Cup qualifying. he’s a great prospect, but he’s young and inexperienced.

  26. Ed says:

    Honduras has some 3rd world country uniforms thats for sure.

  27. 2tone says:

    Wow. Mexico was lucky to tie that game really. Honduras dominated the game from the get go.

    Now LETS GO USMNT. Get those 3 points tomight.

    • fischy says:

      True to a point, but Honduras didn’t deserve the PK.

      • RBNY says:

        Chill. They clearly dropped Costly in the box. Clear penalty.

        • Kevin says:

          Chillax B, clear dive, expected.

          • RBNY says:

            Diving was what the Mexicans starting doing after they thought they had the win. Costly was tripped up after ripping 2 defenders. There is no way you don’t make that call.

            • bryan says:

              yeah, i think it was a bit of karma. mexico was diving everywhere. Lil Pea went down wasting a bunch of time a few minutes before that.

              • Kevin says:

                Cramps are time wasting, I reminds me of the Mex fan arguing that when Davis was “wasting time”.

            • Kevin says:

              I agree there is no way you don’t make that call if you’re a concacaf ref. There was body to body contact, Rodgriuez leg never touched Costly. But that was on my 60″ TV, even the Telemundo announcers said as much.

      • 2tone says:

        It was a clear PK for me.

        • John says:

          If you thought that was a clear penalty you don’t know much about football. Costly was clearly falling right when felt Rodriguez’s weight. He did not get tripped.

  28. fischy says:

    Liked Cantor’s line crediting Costly’s “desequilibrio” — imbalance.

  29. Dimidri says:

    A) Somewhere FIFA executives are patting themselves on the back saying “see-nothing wrong with playing in 110 degree weather! Sure, some people fainted, but it looked great on TV!”

    B) Did anybody else see the Honduran guy partying on top of the barbed wire after the game? Literally straddling the circular barbed wire at the top of the fence…in 110 degree weather. Crazy.

    • RBNY says:

      I’ve never seen Mexico playing as scared as they did during the final 15 minutes of that game. The Honduran support was crazy in that sort of weather… Puts the USA loss there in perspective.

    • Ed says:

      yep, saw that. those people are nuts but what an atmosphere. I was intimidated sitting in my living room.

    • Henry says:

      There is a reason why the President makes public holidays for FIFA qualifiers. I wish it would be like this in the US.

  30. josh says:

    It will be interesting to see, when all the games are played, which team starts/plays the most MLS players. It may not be USA.

  31. Benny says:

    The Mexico and Honduras game was very entertaining. Good for Honduras for coming back and getting at least a point. Now, the U.S. must take care of business and get 3 tonight, and I think they will.

  32. alabamafutbol says:

    I may be alone on this, but I didn’t see a Mexico team that looked overly dangerous.. the only real chances they created were off counter attacks and the occasional set piece (see 2nd goal). You can probably attribute some of that to the heat, some of it to Honduras playing well and keeping the ball a lot.. but personally after watching that game I’m a little less terrified of Tuesday now, if I’m honest. (meaning I now look for a 1-0 loss instead of 3-0 :D )

  33. Art19 says:

    Well they didnt lose.