Eliseo Quintanilla's penalty kick in the 86th minute gave El Salvador a stunning 2-1 triumph over Mexico on Saturday to damage the favoured Tri-color's bid to reach the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™.
A handball penalty in the area against Mexico set the stage for Quintanilla to become the hero and boost the Salvadorans into third place - the final guaranteed FIFA World Cup qualifying position - in the six-team round-robin event. It was a debut defeat for new Mexico manager Javier Aguirre.
Aguirre, who guided Mexico to the round of 16 in the 2002 FIFA World Cup, replaced fired former England manager Sven Goran-Eriksson after Mexico's 3-1 loss at Honduras in April. But the problems with the Mexican side remained even with the change in leadership.
Julio Martinez had given El Salvador the lead with a goal in the 11th minute. Mexico pulled even on Cuauhtemoc Blanco's penalty kick in the 71st minute, but that only set the stage for the final deadly blow.
The Salvadorans took their first triumph of the final qualifying round against a loss and two draws for five points, one ahead of Honduras and two better than the Mexicans, who sank to 1-3 for three points, only one more than winless Trinidad and Tobago.