Waston heroics lift Costa Rica into fifth World Cup

  • Costa Rica qualify for Russia 2018 with a match to spare

  • Kendall Waston scores last-gasp goal to deny Honduras much-needed win

  • Honduras remain fifth heading into Tuesday’s final round

Costa Rica won through to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ on Saturday with a match to spare, but it took a dramatic equaliser from Kendall Waston deep into injury time to earn Los Ticos the point they required.

It was a low key affair in San Jose until the contest exploded into life during the latter stages, in a match delayed for 24 hours due to Tropical Storm Nate.

Hunting a third successive World Cup appearance, Honduras went into the penultimate round in fifth and desperate for points to move into the play-off spot, or even a top-three automatic qualifying position.

Both goalkeepers remained spectators for much of an at-times feisty affair, before Honduras collected an unexpected breakthrough midway through the second half. Romell Quioto crossed from the left for Eddie Hernandez who managed to get between two defenders and head home what seemed set to be a decisive goal for Honduras on the road to Russia.

That strike appeared it would be enough for victory in a disjointed contest, until Waston popped up for a dramatic 95th-minute equaliser. Bryan Ruiz crossed from the right and Waston rose high to power home a textbook header and send the local crowd into delirium.

That result leaves Honduras trailing fourth-placed Panama on goal difference ahead of their home match against Mexico on Tuesday. Panama will host Costa Rica, while USA visit Trinidad and Tobago.