Cuauhtémoc Blanco's penalty in the 75th minute gave Mexico a 1-0 victory over Honduras Wednesday in a key 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ qualifier in the North, Central America and Caribbean zone.

The victory gave Mexico - who had made a stuttering start in the final round of qualifying - 15 points, one behind USA with two matches remaining in the six-nation final round.

Honduras had come into the match atop a table in which the first four teams were separated by just a point. They finished the night lying third, still on 13 points, one ahead of Costa Rica.

Three countries from the region advance directly to the FIFA World Cup finals in South Africa, while the fourth-placed team plays off for a berth against the fifth-placed team from South America.

Mexico dominated the first half, controlling the ball and dictating the pace. But they did not get a goal until Blanco took his penalty, after Giovanni Dos Santos was brought down in the penalty area.

Mexico host El Salvador on 10 October and finish their campaign at Trinidad and Tobago on 14 October. Honduras are at home to USA on 10 October and close against El Salvador on 14 October.