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Honduras stuns Mexico 2-1 in World Cup qualifier

SOCCER MEXICO/HONDURAS | 07 de septiembre de 2013

Honduran players celebrate winning against Mexico during their Brazil 2014 World Cup qualifier game at the Mexico City, Mexico, 06 September 2013. EFE

Mexico City, Sep 7 (EFE).- Honduras pulled off a major upset of Mexico in World Cup qualifying, stunning El Tri 2-1 at Estadio Azteca to improve its chances of securing an automatic berth in Brazil.

The loss, meanwhile, deepened the crisis for Mexico's national soccer squad, which is in desperate need of wins heading into its final three games of regional qualifying.

The Mexicans, who had scraped out scoreless draws in their previous three home matches, came out aggressively on Friday night and were immediately rewarded, with Oribe Peralta scoring off a pass from Giovani Dos Santos in the sixth minute.

The home side, however, squandered chances during the remainder of the first half to pad its lead and had to settle for a slim 1-0 advantage at halftime.

Honduras came out in the second half determined to win the battle for ball possession in the middle of the field, an attacking mentality that paid off with two goals in the span of three minutes.

In the 64th minute, Mexican goalkeeper Jose de Jesus Corona was unable to corral a left-footed strike by Oscar Boniek Garcia and Jerry Bengston - who had just come on as a substitute - was in perfect position to gather the rebound and fire into the back of the net from close range.

Two minutes later, Carlos Costly finished off a run down the left side off a long clearance by sending a perfectly placed strike just inside the far goalpost.

The win in Mexico City left Honduras in third place in the six-team final round of CONCACAF qualifying for the World Cup, leading Mexico by two points.

Costa Rica sits atop The Hex after a 3-1 rout Friday of the United States, which dropped to second place.

The top three teams qualify directly for Brazil, while the fourth-place team will need to win a home-away series against the winner of Oceania, New Zealand, to secure a berth in next year's World Cup.

Mexico's next World Cup qualifier will be an away match against the United States on Tuesday, while Honduras will host fifth-place Panama that same day.

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