31 March, 2012

Mexico and Honduras qualify

The CONCACAF representatives for the London 2012 Olympic Games are Mexico and Honduras. Mexico soundly defeated Canada 3-1 at LiveStrong Park in Kansas City today, with goals by Marco Fabian, Alan Pulido and American-Mexican Miguel Ponce (born in Sacramento, CA, and a U.S. citizen). Canada's goal was scored by Marcus Haber on a header from a Philippe Davies cross.

The more interesting match was Honduras and surprise opponent El Salvador. Honduras took the lead in the first minute on a goal by Antony Lozano, but El Salvador tied the game in the 77th minute with a goal by Milton Molina to send the game into overtime. But that is when things got really crazy.

Honduras appeared to qualify for the Olympics with a goal by Gerson Rodas in the 98th minute, 8 minutes into overtime. But they hadn't. El Salvador tied the game a second time just three minutes later with a goal by Edwin Sanchez in the 101st minute. So, with the score tied 2-2, they switched sides for a second overtime. Gerson Rodas scored again in the 114th minute, his second of the match and second of the extra time. The final score was 3-2 with three of the five goals coming in overtime.

El Salvador was without suspended defender Alexander Larin, who was suspended three games for his punch to the face of Terrence Boyd in the game against the USA. Honduras has qualified for the Olympics twice before, but both times they required a penalty kick shootout tiebreaker. This is the first time they won the game on the field, but reports say they were the superior team throughout the game.

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