Mexico's win at home against Costa Rica at the weekend proved a false dawn as Sven-Goran Eriksson's men were thrashed 3-1 by Honduras in San Pedro Sula on the third matchday of CONCACAF's final round of qualifying. The Swede must now know his future is in serious jeopardy as USA strolled to a 3-0 win in Nashville to increase their lead at the top of North, Central American and Caribbean zone qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™. Costa Rica, now in second, needed a late goal from Walter Centeno to make sure of a home win over El Salvador in San Jose.
USA 3-0 Trinidad and Tobago
Honduras 3-1 Mexico
Costa Rica 1-0 El Salvador
Game of the dayHonduras 3-1 Mexico
Goals: Carlos Costly 15 & 78, Carlos Pavon 43; Nery Castillo 80
El Tri looked a pale shadow of the side that beat Costa Rica at the Azteca four days earlier, unable to come up with a suitable response to Honduras' superior strength, power and panache. Carlos Costly opened the scoring on the quarter-hour taking advantage of a glaring error in the Mexican backline, suffering without suspended captain Rafa Marquez. Carlos Pavon, hands-down the man of the match, added a stunner just before the break and Costly made it three with a classy strike 12 minutes from time. The Mexicans, who were reduced to ten men late in the game after Carlos Salcido's cynical foul, managed to pull back a goal from the penalty spot, but it was mere consolation and proved much too little and much too late. The Mexicans are now clinging to fourth place in the CONCACAF standings, with only three points from their three games and none earned on the road.
The other games
Jozy Altidore was every inch the American hero on Wednesday night in Nashville, bringing a little rhythm to the so-called 'Music City.' Led by their young sniper, the US made easy meat of a Trinidad and Tobago side who looked well and truly out of their depth without suspended captain Dwight Yorke. Altidore, on loan from La liga side Villarreal at second-division Xerez, opened the scoring after linking up with Landon Donovan in the 13th minute. He rounded his defender to repeat the dose in the 71st before hooking up with Donovan for a third time, and completing the 3-0 rout, with a soft goal in the dying moments. The islanders had no answer for USA, or Altidore, on this day.
Costa Rica wasted a host of chances in San Jose at their intimidating Estadio Saprissa, including a first half penalty miss by Andy Furtado, perhaps still reeling from the weekend loss in Mexico City. In the end, though, they came out on top 1-0 thanks to a well-taken goal from their reliable leader and No10 Walter Centeno, who headed home a cross from Carlos Hernández.
Player of the day
Jozy Altidore (USA)
The USA's 19-year-old ace, Jozy Altidore, carved out a bit of history. After becoming the youngest ever scorer for the US in FIFA World Cup qualifying mid-week as a substitute against El Salvador, the teenager upped the intensity from the start against Trinidad and Tobago. Scoring three goals, he made history again in the 3-0 win and, in truth, was unfortunate not to have scored four or five.
The numbers game 6-0 - The combined scoreline of the last two qualifying meetings between USA and T&T played on American soil. The Soca Warriors didn't put up much of a fight in Nashville, a full seven months after their semi-final round loss to the States in Chicago by the same heavy 3-0 scoreline.
"I think we're moving in the right direction. To qualify for the World Cup we have to be strong at home and play with pride. If we continue to do so, we'll be on the right track," Honduras striker Carlos Costly after the 3-1 win over Mexico.
1. USA 7 pts
2. Costa Rica 6 pts
3. Honduras 4
4. Mexico 3 pts
5. El Salvador 2 pts
6. Trinidad and Tobago 2 pts
Wednesday 3 June 2009
Saturday 6 June 2009
Trinidad and Tobago-Costa Rica
Wednesday 10 June 2009
Mexico-Trinidad and Tobago